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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New in new dust jacket. Mint condition HC, no internal or remainder marks, clean cloth boards, corners sharp, no visible wear, as bonus near fine DJ placed in protective Mylar, a fine gift copy. Will pack well and ship promptly with free tracking. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 448 p. Audience: General/trade.
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!
Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-30 John Benjamin Hickey more than does justice to Irving's simple but effective prose in this unusual coming-of-age novel that sensitively explores sexual identity and orientation. Hickey gets this audio edition off to a good start with his reading of passages in which bisexual protagonist Billy Dean admits to having trouble pronouncing certain words such as library and penis-which Dean can only vocalize as "penith"-a fact that genuinely causes him anguish, especially as puberty kicks in and he develops a crush on the librarian of his small Vermont town. Portraying an older character with a speech impediment looking back on his life could trip up many a talented narrator, but Hickey doesn't miss a beat. One of the many high points is his depiction of Dean's grandfather, a humorous female impersonator with an acid view of the town's teenage acting talent in a local production of Ibsen. Irving fans will be delighted. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-02-20 Prep school. Wrestling. Unconventional sexual practices. Viennese interlude. This bill of particulars could only fit one American author: John Irving. His 13th novel (after Last Night in Twisted River) tells the oftentimes outrageous story of bisexual novelist Billy Abbott, who comes of age in the uptight 1950s and explores his sexuality through two decadent decades into the plague-ridden 1980s and finally to a more positive present day. Sexual confusion sets in early for Billy, simultaneously attracted to both the local female librarian and golden boy wrestler Jacques Kittredge, who treats Billy with the same disdain he shows Billy's best friend (and occasional lover) Elaine. Faced with an unsympathetic mother and an absent father who might have been gay, Billy travels to Europe, where he has affairs with a transgendered female and an older male poet, an early AIDS activist. Irving's take on the AIDS epidemic in New York is not totally persuasive (not enough confusion, terror, or anger), and his fractured time and place doesn't allow him to generate the melodramatic string of incidents that his novels are famous for. In the end, sexual secrets abound in this novel, which intermittently touches the heart as it fitfully illuminates the mutability of human desire. Agent: Dean Cooke, the Cooke Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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