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The Married Man by Edmund White

The Married Man (2000)

by Edmund White

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Showing 5 of 5
Whew - what a VERY depressing book this is! Especially if you know or have known anyone who died of the plague (HIV/AIDS). White chronicles, in unstinting detail, the gradual decline and painful death of the character who happens to have been a married man (who becomes the lover of the central character). Dying people are not usually happy and they tend to not be very pleasant to be around - especially when they are in pain - so this tale is just downright excruciating most of the time. Warning: this is an especially graphic novel. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
i enjoyed this novel because edmund white is such a beautiful writer and it bothered me at points because the class stuff seems so unconscious but upon reflection i may have misread it. if you want a well-written gay book, white's always a go-to guy.

if you want it, email me & i'll mail it to you.
( )
  anderlawlor | Apr 9, 2013 |
I found reviews that raved about this being one of White's most vibrant and beautifully written novels, but if that is true, I'm not sure how he's managed such a successful career. For me, this was a dull and depressing book with flat writing and characters that varied from being flat to unlikable to simply boring. One of the reviews of White's work labels him as "our most influential chronicler of gay life", and perhaps that is true since I certainly don't know the reach of his influence--I do know that this is one of the last books I'd recommend for someone looking into novels that "chronicle gay life". So many other authors come to mind--Paul Monette for one, if we're looking for a prolific author--that makes this work (and writing) pale in comparison.

Simply, I wouldn't ever find myself in a position to recommend this work. If I hadn't been determined to finish it, I never would have made it pas the first hundred pages. I grant that the book picked up pace in the second half, but the lackluster and seemingly wandering ending took away any momentum or worth that I might have begun to see along the way. In the end, for me, this just wasn't worth the time, and I saw nothing here that hasn't been done more gracefully and smartly elsewhere. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jun 1, 2012 |
Absolutely wonderfully written. White has a wonderful way of developing his characters and the twists and turns that this novel takes most of them emotional have you upset, happy and wondering. I must say that I have have met people like Austin, Julien, Peter and yes George in my life. At time I got very upset with the main character -- what the hell was he doing with all of these emotional vampires around him...when you meet one, run like hell!! ( )
  latinobookgeek | Nov 5, 2007 |
Uninspiring prose layered onto weak plot and thin characters create a near nauseating tale of early nineties AIDS-related gloom. ( )
  DanDanRevolution | Feb 23, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679781447, Paperback)

Edmund White majored in sexual explicitness with his boldly autobiographical trilogy--A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony. Now, explicitly as ever, he trains his unflinching eye on a new subject: a young man's death from AIDS. Austin is a fiftysomething American expat in Paris; Julien is a young married man he meets at the gym. Much to Austin's surprise, Julien calls him and soon they are sharing a bed and a life. The Married Man is White's Henry James novel: the first couple hundred pages show us a satirical portrait of young Julien as a stuffy Frenchman and a more elliptical portrait of Austin's apprehension of French culture through his lover. With Julien, "Austin was always learning things, not necessarily reasoned or researched information but rather all those thousands and thousands of brand names, turns of phrase, aversions and anecdotes that make up a culture as surely as do the moves in a child's game of hopscotch."

But White wants to take us all the way to the end of this relationship. Austin is HIV positive, and it soon becomes clear that Julien has AIDS. As Julien's health unravels, the two travel to Providence, to Key West, to Venice, to Rome, and ultimately to Morocco. The author coins a darkly appropriate phrase for this urge to move: he calls it "AIDS-restlessness." White, in fact, unveils a whole gallery of startling images as Julien nears death. Julien is "the bowler hat descending into the live volcano." Thin and brown and bearded, he looks "like the Ottoman Empire in a turn-of-the-century political cartoon." Though he can't read it, Julien acquires a copy of the Koran. "It was the perfect book for a weary, dying man--pious, incomprehensible pages to strum, an ink cloud of unknowing." White has found a language both magical and clinical to describe a horrible death. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:38 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Austin is an American furniture scholar living in Paris. He is pushing fifty, loveless, drifting. One day at the gym he meets Julien: French, an architect, much younger and married. Against every expectation, this chance acquaintance matures into profound romance." "As the two men dash between bohemian suppers and sophisticated salons, their only impediments are the easily surmountable and comic clashes of culture, age and temperament. Inevitably, however, Julien's past catches up with them. With increasing desperation, in a quest to save health and happiness, they move from the shuttered squares of Venice to sun-drenched Key West, to Montreal in the snow and Providence in the rain. But it is amid the bleak, baking sands of the Sahara that their love is pushed to its ultimate crisis."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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