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Insignificant others : a novel (edition 2010)

by Stephen McCauley

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942128,437 (3.48)1
Member:MDTLibrarian
Title:Insignificant others : a novel
Authors:Stephen McCauley
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2010. 243 p. ; 22 cm.
Collections:Your library, Hardback, Gay
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Gay men, Fiction, Relationships, Massachusetts, Boston, read, CLZ1

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Insignificant Others: A Novel by Stephen McCauley

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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:55 -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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