Friday, July 23, 2010

Insignificant Others, by Stephen McCauley

I could have read this book quite happily for the rest of the summer. The pace is really nice; things keep happening, but not at breakneck speed, and the characters and situations evolve in a way that seems natural. In short, this novel seems legitimately like a slice of life. In fact it wasn't until I'd finished it that I realized how profoundly the protagonist's life had changed during the course of the novel. Which is also, I think, like real life - it takes a little time and distance to see the changes time and experience have wrought.

Where I heard about this book: My friend (and talented author) Nina introduced me to Stephen McCauley 20-some years ago, and reminded me about him just recently.

What I thought of this book
: Excellent. Not only a good read, but relaxing and reassuring in a way I can't quite put my finger on.

What this book is about: A middle-aged man gay man living in Boston. This is one of those books in which the protagonist is living a comfortable life, and is managing quite nicely to overlook the things that might make it seem less than ideal. Like the fact that his "insignificant other" is a man with whom he feels more of a connection than the guy he's been living with for the past 8 years. Or that his exercise addiction is more than a little unhealthy. Or, well, the list goes on. Luckily for the reader, events conspire which knock him out of his comfortable rut. The result is very entertaining, though not comedic. In short, a perfectly dramatic book in which nothing unbelievable or over the top happens. Hooray!

I really, really covet this blue chair and Stephen McCauley's ability to be so handsome and photogenic.

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