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Insignificant others : a novel by Stephen…

Insignificant others : a novel (edition 2010)

by Stephen McCauley

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1083111,760 (3.47)1
Title:Insignificant others : a novel
Authors:Stephen McCauley
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010. 243 pages ; 22 cm.
Collections:Your library, Gay
Tags:Gay men, Fiction, Relationships, Massachusetts, Boston, read, CLZ1

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Insignificant Others: A Novel by Stephen McCauley


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For me none of the characters in this book were very likeable. This might be why it took me such a long time to read. The main character is an aging exercise obsessed gay man who has had a lover for a number of years. That being said he also has an "insignificant other" who's a married man with children. Part way through the book we learn that his long term lover is thinking of leaving him for someone out of town. There's also some crises at work for the main character. Things do get better towards the end of the book. But on a whole the main character is not very likeable and seems to lament the way his life is going although he's the one who has engineered all of the problems that he's facing. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Oct 30, 2016 |
This is definitely an entertaining reading, without a lot of depth though. Actually, I was more interested in the part that takes place at the narrator's workplace (he is a HR manager in a new technologies company) than the relationships with both his partner and married lover, which I find pretty conventionnal and with secondary characters that lack substance. Easy and fun to read. ( )
  fredhosteins | Oct 14, 2010 |
The narrator, Richard, is a 50 something gay man in a long term relationship with Conrad, who is several years younger. He is also having an affair with a married man, Ben, who is struggling with his homosexuality. Richard's well ordered life starts to unravel when he learns that Conrad may leave him and move from Boston to Columbus, Ohio to live with a much older and richer man. The story is all about Richard, it is told solely from his point of view and there is little development of the other characters, except maybe for Ben. At the end readers know nothing about Conrad, which seems to be a major flaw. The way the book ends leaves things open for a follow up novel, which may close some of the gaps in this one. ( )
  BrianEWilliams | Aug 22, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743224752, Hardcover)

What do you do when you discover your spouse has an insignificant other?

How about when you realize your own insignificant other is becoming more significant than your spouse?

There are no easy answers to these questions, but Stephen McCauley—"the master of the modern comedy of manners" (USA Today)—makes exploring them a literary delight.

Richard Rossi works in HR at a touchy-feely software company and prides himself on his understanding of the foibles and fictions we all use to get through the day. Too bad he’s not as good at spotting such behavior in himself.

What else could explain his passionate affair with Benjamin, a very unavailable married man? Richard suggests birthday presents for Benjamin’s wife and vacation plans for his kids, meets him for "lunch" at a sublet apartment, and would never think about calling him after business hours.

"In the three years I’d known Benjamin, I’d come to think of him as my husband. He was, after all, a husband, and I saw it as my responsibility to protect his marriage from a barrage of outside threats and bad influences. It was the only way I could justify sleeping with him."

Since Richard is not entirely available himself—there’s Conrad, his adorable if maddening partner to contend with—it all seems perfect. But when cosmopolitan Conrad starts spending a suspicious amount of time in Ohio, and economic uncertainty challenges Richard’s chances for promotion, he realizes his priorities might be a little skewed.

With a cast of sharply drawn friends, frenemies, colleagues, and personal trainers, Insignificant Others is classic McCauley—a hilarious and ultimately haunting social satire about life in the United States at the bitter end of the boom years, when clinging to significant people and pursuits has never been more important—if only one could figure out what they are.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:20 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rossi works in HR at a touchy-feely software company and prides himself on his understanding of the foibles and fictions we all use to get through the day. Too bad he's not as good at spotting such behavior in himself.

(summary from another edition)

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