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Nights in Aruba [Paperback]

Andrew Holleran

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Book Description

Dec 2001
A quiet, elegiac novel, centring on a gay man's relationship with his parents - as the fast world of a young gay life is losing its fascination. This is a novel from the author of "Dancer from the Dark" and "Ground Zero".
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (Dec 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060937343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060937348
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.5 x 1.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,349,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I first lived in New York my object was to sleep through Sundays in winter-there was nothing to do with them anyway, so we stayed out Saturday night dancing. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read if you like "literary" books 20 July 2006
By Benedict Luna - Published on
This is not a book to read for plot, but for the "voice" of the narrator and in that sense it is truly excellent. This does not mean it is boring - at least I didn't think so - and found myself longing to continue reading it.

The book full of truths. Reading it makes one FEEL what it is like to be human, (though from a gay point of view) - and what it means to feel ambivalent, and how the weight of life's uncertainty feels like.

"Dancer from the dance" is Holleran's more successful novel, but I personally preferred "Nights in Aruba".

One of the earlier reviewers trashes the book on the basis that the character does not learn from his experiences - but to this I wish to say that the novel is not a "bildungsroman". I do not think that the book has a bleak outlook to life - rather is depicts one viewpoint (and does so very well) - and shows how and why humans are prone to making the same mistakes and that there is so much existential uncertainty to life.

The book's literary qualities are also such that the book improves with a second reading.

Kudos to Holleran.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of best written autobiographical novels of the last century. 1 Jan 2008
By Newton Fawcett - Published on
Nights in Aruba has been criticized as lacking structure. Even Holleran has said this. I don't agree. The "Novel" is perfect as it is. With this work, Holleran should have been elevated to his proper place among the most skillful and observant writers of English prose of the last, and now this, century. Sadly, because his audience has been largely limited to gay men, that is unlikely to happen. He deserves a wider audience. This is a thinly veiled memoir in the guise of fiction. Holleran writes as well as anyone can. In penetrating his own psyche he reaches the reader's as well. The earnestness in certain passages in Aruba made me want to read them again and again. The writing is gorgeous.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Holleran Must Do Better 13 Aug 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Nights in Aruba is a book that left me wondering why I took the time to read it. It tells the story of a gay man from his youth in Aruba through his time in the military to New York. The book did not really keep my interest and I felt as if the book was nothing more than pages filled with the laments of a middle-aged gay male who has had a life that amounted to very little.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic of autobiographical fiction 9 Jun 2006
By Jack Harms - Published on
Holleran's NIGHTS IN ARUBA is one of the first novels I read by those writers who are now described as having belonged to the Violet Quill--it was and remains one of the best. Here is a novel that reads in many ways like a memoir; at the same time, it has the dramatic movement of fiction. In this book, I particularly loved Holleran's dialogue, which is at once arch and sad and comic. A wonderful book.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nights in dullsville 15 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a bunch of self-pitying tripe this book is. The main character sees everything, does most of it, and resolutely refuses to learn anything from his experiences. He looks for love, finds it, and tosses it out the window without anything so unglamorous as motivation. And then he wonders why he is so unhappy and why his life has not amounted to anything. Has Holleran ever heard of developing believable characters, or even of cause and effect?
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