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Rough Music (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (edition 2002)

by Patrick Gale

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4021426,569 (3.81)18
Member:Tifi
Title:Rough Music (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Authors:Patrick Gale
Info:Ballantine Books (2002), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Read, UK

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Rough Music by Patrick Gale

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
It's not a perfect book, but I can tell it's a five-star book because I've really slowed down as I approach the end, not wanting it to finish. I judge Patrick Gale to be a very perceptive observer of human relationships. Sure, this novel has the verisimilitude that comes from being based very much on the author's own life, but many people have lived lives that they don't really understand - or even attempt to understand. Maybe when you're gay there's an imperative to come to terms with your sexual identity and the relationship to your early family life? I read this book, enjoying it from page 1, but all the time wondering why I like it so much. I'm still not 100% sure, but part of the answer is that I relate very personally to the characters and situations. Gale's characters often behave the way I can see that I might behave in their situation. They like things that I like (well, some of the characters do, anyway). But mostly, I think it's the subtle way he elucidates the nature of people and their relationships to each other. This is particularly the case here where there are two parallel stories (separated in time by many years) so we can explicitly see how an earlier event impacts on the formation of a character's older personality. One issue that I don't yet fully understand is the role of a person's name in their identity. This books explores that issue in that a number of characters have different names in different situations. This has obvious connections to sexual identity (e.g. Julian being called Julie by someone who recognises his future gay identity emerging), but I wonder if there's something deeper and more universal here (i.e. relevant to the whole range of GLBTI and straight people). Perhaps Gale explores this more in his other works . . . I'm about to find out, and I'm looking forward to it! ( )
  oldblack | Aug 6, 2016 |
what a great read. i really, really enjoyed this. it's broken into past and present, and each chapter goes back and forth between them. at the end of every chapter, when the new chapter would start, and it would be the other story again, i felt 'no! i need to know what happens in the other story right now!!' and then the same thing would happen at the end of that chapter. for the entire book. if i could have read it in one sitting i would have. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 2, 2013 |
An engaging read, with alternating chapters; one set about 35 years ago and another set in the present. In both, some members of the same family are at a holiday cottage in Cornwall and there is drama in both settings. Patrick Gale very cleverly makes connections between the two times and unfolds the two narratives in a way that keeps you reading, wanting to know how the drama will work out. The inclusion of a prisoner, who is so clearly based on Ronnie Biggs is strange, but explained at the end. ( )
  Tifi | Dec 10, 2012 |
Enjoyable read with a heartwarmimg outcome, concerning Will, his sister and her husband, and utlimately the mystery man in the cabin. ( )
  presto | Apr 25, 2012 |
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added by gsc55 | editqueer readers, Neil (Mar 30, 2015)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 000655220X, Paperback)

A subtle and entertaining tragicomic love story. Julian as a small boy is taken on the perfect Cornish holiday. When glamorous American cousins unexpectedly swell the party, however, emotions run high and events spiral out of control. Though he has been brought up in the forbidding shadow of the prison his father runs, though his parents are neither as normal nor as happy as he supposes, Julian's world view is the sunnily selfish, accepting one of boyhood. It is only when he becomes a man -- seemingly at ease with love, with his sexuality, with his ghosts -- that the traumatic effects of that distant summer rise up to challenge his defiant assertion that he is happy and always has been.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:57 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Julian as a small boy is taken on the perfect Cornish holiday. When glamorous American cousins unexpectedly swell the party, however, emotions run high and events spiral out of control. Though he has been brought up in the forbidding shadow of the prison his father runs, though his parents are neither as normal nor as happy as he supposes, Julian's world view is the sunnily selfish, accepting one of boyhood. It is only when he becomes a man - seemingly at ease with love, with his sexuality, with his ghosts - that the traumatic effects of that distant summer rise up to challenge his defiant assertion that he is happy and always has been.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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