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Holding the Man (Penguin Viking Plays & Screen) Paperback – 27 Aug 1998

48 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140257845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140257847
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 91,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Timothy Holgrave was born in Melbourne in 1959 and educated at Xavier College and Monash University. He trained as an actor at the National Institute of Dramatic Art, graduating in 1984, appearing in such plays as Brighton Beach Memoirs and As Is. He died in 1994 shortly after completing HOLDING THE MAN.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr Thern Reynolds on 26 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
I first read holding the man approx 10 years ago, it made such a profound difference to my life. Written with such honesty, humour and above all LOVE!! Reading about Tim and John was an honour, I advise anyone who looks on gay relationships with anything less than a healthy respect to read this book, It shows how fantastically natural the love between 2 men can be. I thoroughly recommend it to young gay men to read as a source of encouragement anf hope, because I promise you, nothing seems more natural than the love these 2 men shared. Have read it countless times since then, and am always left with a nice warm feeling in my heart and with hope that a profound love exists for us all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. K. Clarke on 17 July 2006
Format: Paperback
I wish someone would have shown me this book ten years ago. I can relate so my to both Tim and John and the pains that they went through and the love that they shared. It is not often you hear true accounts of such unconditional love that can stand the test of time and circumstances as in the case of Tim and John.

This book had me on an emotional roller coaster from the very beginning - all the things Iv'e done or should have done but didn't WOW!

Thank you Tim and John.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
One of the most poignant and moving books I've ever read. If there was ever a (true) story that exemplified the wastage of life brought about by the AIDS virus, this is it. These are such good, talented people, struck down.
However, this autobiography isn't all doom and gloom; the first years of the relationship are told with great joy and to the very end of the book the huge love exchanged between John and Tim comes shining through.
Told with great lucidity, Tim's insightful and relaxed writing style makes this a very accessible read. Despite one or two minor reservations, I give it five stars for the way it approaches the subject.
(Be warned; the final chapters are emotionally quite draining. I found it impossible to read more than a few passages at a time without welling up with tears - to the consternation of fellow passengers on the Tube. As another reviewer wrote, read the final pages on your own).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the recommendation of a manager at Gay's the Word, in London. Otherwise I would never have heard of it.
I had to fight back tears and sobs, both on the tube to heathrow and on the plane back to New York.
A lot of people think the AIDS crisis is over. Many don't know what we have gone through, collectively. This book is essential reading for anyone who thinks safe sex is not necessary anymore.
Much like David B. Feinberg's Eighty Sixed, this is one of the books that is going to change my life.
Holding the Man brings every emotion to the surface. It is also fitting that after his lover's father squashes John's homosexuality at the funeral, Tim writes a book that holds the truth up to the light, as John would have preferred. Possibly one of the best 10 books I will ever read in my lifetime. It captures the dual coming out -- telling people you're gay and HIV+ -- perfectly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had this book for some time and had forgotten it was on my `to be read' pile, when I picked it up it turned out to be one of those books that you just can't put down. It is the moving and very personal auto biography of Timothy Conigrave. He tells of his fifteen year love of his boyfriend and husband, John Caleo.

They both attended the Jesuit St. Xavier's college in Melbourne where John was the captain of the footie team and Tim was the more wistful would be actor. They finally get together and even though Tim at first thought it was a schoolboy crush, it turned out it was the real thing, especially so for John. They met in the late seventies and this was clearly pre AIDS days when no one much bothered with contraception. Despite their underlying feelings they both had other lovers.

The book deals with coming out especially to a Catholic family, not so easy as I had to do the same thing. Then the acceptance of friends and then the worst of all imaginings and that was contracting the AIDS virus. Medicine was so far behind then that this really was a death sentence and Tim pulls absolutely no punches in his telling of all the trials that he and his lover had to go through.

This is a beautifully written book that is as open and frank as it is possible to be. There is detail here that left me slack jawed as I had no idea about some of the possibilities that go with HIV. It is unflinching in its naked representation of the truth both in terms of the physical problems and the emotional. To say I was moved is an understatement, I actually cried on public transport - never a good look. I was even more upset to find that this book was published in 1995 after Tim's death from an AIDS related illness. He was an inspirational man, both as an actor playwright and human being a great and sad loss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K Lancaster on 17 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
I would encourage all Gay men to read this book. Both I and my partner read it whilst on holiday and it is simply stunning. The people who live here could not be made up - they are far too real to have been made up. They love, they are petty, they laugh, they eat too much junk food, they care for each other and they are hated by homophobes. Oh, and their lives are totally ripped apart by the most evil acronym the world has ever known. It's a long time since I cried whilst reading a book but there was nothing I could do stop the tears as these two fragile men lived through a nightmare they should never have had to experience. Read it and I hope you get as much out of it as we did.
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