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The Beautiful Room Is Empty by Edmund White

The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988)

by Edmund White

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725912,951 (3.81)29



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The Beautiful Room is Empty Edmund White

This is the second book in a trilogy about a gay boy growing up and coming to terms with his sexuality, I think this would have been better read in order however book bingo assigned me this book and not the first and having read the description I wasn't sure I would want to read anything else

This book deals with the narrator becoming an adult he is attending college and associating with bohemians one of whom, Maria, becomes a firm friend.

What I liked about the book was the honest voice of the narrator he is young, gay, naïve and struggling with how to meet men and his feelings when he does meet them. He has a believable voice and I think it is probably an accurate portrayal of how it feels to be young and gay in the 50's.

What I didn't like was the culture of the toilet I just found it distasteful although from hearing about recent police arrests on the news it probably is a realistic situation and would have been even more a necessary way of meeting people back then.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Far too much graphic sex for my liking. But well-written. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
The semi-autobiographical novel of a young man in Detroit and Chicago in the 1950s and 60s, and who is gay . . . couldn't sound less interesting, unless they made it a baseball or football story. I really didn't think I'd find the interest to finish it until I got to the paragraph on page 19 where the narrator talks about how he wishes he lived in the "lurid decadence of nineteenth-century Europe, with its mauve glasses and moth-eaten velvets . . . " and said "I felt nausea whenever I faced America's frumpy cuteness." Suddenly, the book had promise--he didn't like his world any more than I do.

. . . And this just showed me how good writing can make an otherwise distasteful and boring book come to life. It was a quick, compelling read. For my tastes, there were too many scenes of cruising and sex in public bathrooms, but otherwise it was enjoyable. I'm glad I read it and will definitely read Edmund White again. ( )
4 vote Nickelini | Mar 24, 2013 |
While they were behaving indecorously, our neurotic, white, middle-class gay narrator tried to distance himself from those unruly "Latinos" and "queens" who made the Stonewall riots, but once it was over it was his revolution too. A highly typical book that has little to say to modern queers, but there is some interesting language and funny characters. ( )
  knownever | Dec 18, 2012 |
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"Ah! Do you have to be sensual to be human?"
"Certainly, Madame. Pity is in the guts, just as tenderness is on the skin."
~ Anatole France, 'The Red Lily'
To Stanley Redfern
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I met Maria during my next-to-last year in prep school.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679755403, Paperback)

When the narrator of White's poised yet scalding autobiographical novel first embarks on his sexual odyssey, it is the 1950s, and America is "a big gray country of families on drowsy holiday." That country has no room for a scholarly teenager with guilty but insatiable stirrings toward other men. Moving from a Midwestern college to the Stonewall Tavern on the night of the first gay uprising--and populated by eloquent queens, butch poseurs, and a fearfully incompetent shrink--The Beautiful Room is Empty conflates the acts of coming out and coming of age.

"With intelligence, candor, humor--and anger--White explores the most insidious aspects of oppression.... An impressive novel."--Washington Post book World

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:07 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Moving from a Midwestern college to the Stonewall Tavern on the night of the first gay uprising--and populated by eloquent queens, butch poseurs, and a fearfully incompetent shrink--The beautiful room is empty conflates the acts of coming out and coming of age."--Cover.… (more)

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Average: (3.81)
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