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Beautifully written account of self-obsessed people smoking, drinking and screwing their way to early graves and being utterly miserable in the process - very Scott Fitzgerald. It makes bourgeois suburbia: live sober, get married, have children, stay together, have grand-children, seem positively idyllic.
I read this book because I came across James Baldwin online and he sounded like he lived an interesting life. However, after about 40 pages I really found myself struggling with it and gave up before I was even halfway. There's too much senseless dialogue and when it does go into the inner workings of the characters minds, I found it either predictable and hollow or abstract and hard to follow. Maybe it's because I'm a white, straight man but I couldn't identify with any of the characters. I didn't like or even sympathize with any of them.
Black women who love white men Black men who love white men White men who love white men White men who love white women But he never thought it possible for any woman to love a woman Although a good story in which the characters became my friends, it was written in a time when it was believed men could choose to have sex with both sexes. yes, I know that can happen but here it seems the norm.
Baldwin takes you on a profound journey through the lives of his characters and as you sit with each fully, ultimately you sit with and see yourself, your hearts roof top highs and well bottom lows. You wish by the end, only for the beauty of the gift of his linguistic skills and story telling to continue.
Wonderful story of relationships, gay/hetero/social/commercial that covers so much of the lower east side, Harlem, & their better-heeled neighbours. Really gets into the soul of troubled personalities when they are all trying to do that American Dream thang.