HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988)

by Edmund White

Series: A Boy's Own Story (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9821520,921 (3.77)47
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… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 47 mentions

English (13)  Italian (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Unable to finish reading this - Mary
  JimandMary69 | Nov 7, 2023 |
When we rejoin our nameless narrator he is now seventeen years old and exploring deeper relationships, sexual and platonic. He has moved from the Midwest to the culturally explosive Greenwich Village of New York to pursue college and a career. There he keeps his relationships in different compartments. The fraternity brothers do not mingle with the bohemians and the bohemians do not know the Chinese. And no one knows of the anonymous hairy legs and hard penises of grimy bathrooms. There is a lot more descriptive sex in The Beautiful Room is Empty. Our narrator is less concerned with "going straight" then he is finding a handsome man with whom to link arms and entwine legs. The shame of homosexuality burns with a smaller flame but is always there. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jul 25, 2023 |
One of those 1001 Books you must read before you die that I could have done without. This is gay lit and therefore there is not much I find worth reading. I do not care to read about gay sex, gay toilet behavior and therefore I don't think that qualifies as literature I must read. What is good about the book is that it is a coming of age story and a coming out story. I guess this is the second book of a trilogy that is almost semi autobiographical. It tells the story of gays in the 1960s up to the 70s. I really did not see much that qualifies as literature. ( )
  Kristelh | Aug 13, 2021 |
Sometimes it seems nothing changes and at other times everything does. In this novel we are confronted with these two realities: the comforting illusion of the States in the 50s and the gross and terrible ways homosexuality was treated. Through the lens of Bunny we see the tension growing up as a gay boy in a heteronormative society where all his impulses will be denatured and criminalised. The gentle slope that we see him climb is a testimony to how far gay rights have come. A shining, raw light onto an epoch. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Mar 7, 2020 |
With the same level that I loved "A Boy's Own Story," I disliked "The Beautiful Room is Empty."
There felt, for me, a huge disconnect from the first novel to this second. It did not feel as if the protagonist were the same person at all, and I think that hurt the novel. I liked the protagonist in "Story," and felt a strong distaste for the protagonist in "Room."
I think for me there were a lot of things that just went wrong. Mostly, I don't think a clear picture of who the protagonist is, was ever really established. White spends so much time describing and analyzing the other people in the protagonist's life, that I felt the novel seemed more about them than him. I couldn't really tell you much about him, whereas, we were given so much information about all the side characters. It felt less a story about the protagonist and more a story about the people in his life. For me, this just made the protagonist less interesting, and underdeveloped, allowing very little room for me to care much about him.
I also found the end horrible. It ended on such a random note, that felt completely abstract to the rest of the novel. I understand their is a third book to the series, but generally it would have been nice to have some sort of segway, or ending that fit with the narrative.
I wanted to love this novel, but just couldn't. Compared to his first, it fell extremely short for me. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Mar 29, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Related movies
Epigraph
"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'
Dedication
To Stanley Redfern
First words
I met Maria during my next-to-last year in prep school.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 14
2.5 3
3 23
3.5 17
4 48
4.5 7
5 30

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 202,044,802 books! | Top bar: Always visible