A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, "In One Person" is a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of "In One Person", tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a ...Read MoreA compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, "In One Person" is a story of unfulfilled love - tormented, funny, and affecting - and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of "In One Person", tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a "sexual suspect", a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 - in his landmark novel of "terminal cases", "The World According to Garp". His most political novel since "The Cider House Rules" and "A Prayer for Owen Meany", John Irving's "In One Person" is a poignant tribute to Billy's friends and lovers - a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, "In One Person" is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself "worthwhile".Read Less
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By this headline I mean that yes, it is worth reading, as John Irving is always worth reading. But, having said that, I have to admit that it was a bit of a disappointment. Partly because it seems like In One Person is just a rehash of a lot of the Irving techniques we've all grown accustomed to... and so usually we can see where he's going before he gets there.
But the real disappointment is perhaps special to me. I am gay, and I've read a lot of gay literature over the years... so when I read this book I feel like I've seen it all before. My real complaint is that it feels like it should have come out fifteen or twenty years ago - when AIDS and a lot of what we find between these covers was still immediate concerns for a lot of people. Now it feels a bit old hat. But then again - if I were a straight reader I might not have come across much of this before. Otherwise it is an enjoyable read... and I actually cheered when he griped that "impact" should not be used as a verb!
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