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The Good Neighbor Hardcover – 2 Jun 2006


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£15.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Publications Inc (2 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555839339
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555839338
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 17.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,768,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

This is a novel, deftly exploring modern concepts of success, masculinity, ambition and sexuality. Jay Quinn, author of "Back Where He Started", directs his ever-sharpening eye over the enormous cultural shifts playing across the hedges in American society to two families in a manicured, upscale suburban south-Florida neighbourhood. David Harden is demoted when the dot-com bubble bursts, leaving him earning less than his wife Meg, who recently made partner in her law firm. He spends much of his time shuttling his two sons between school and soccer practice. Rory Fallon, whose partner Will has his career on the fast track, feels increasingly stranded and isolated in their elegant and echoing home. Living next-door to each other, the two couples form a close friendship, particularly David and Rory, who share a growing sense of dislocation and the sense that their lives have gone off track and they aren't sure how or why. "The Good Neighbor" explores concepts of success, masculinity, ambition and sexuality in a way that shines a new light on how society is defined by them.

As the relationships among the four adults evolve and take on surprisingly complex emotional and sexual overtones, the placid suburban facade cracks open to reveal something far more primal and urgent.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jun. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Set in an upscale-gated community in Southern Florida, The Good Neighbor tells of what happens when two families cross paths and inevitably collides in unexpected and surprising ways. Rory Fallon and his partner Bruno have been living at the Venetian Vistas for about two years, when one morning, they meet Austin Harden, his wife Meg and their two young boys Noah and Josh.

Lately Meg has become the "boss" of the family, an aggressive corporate lawyer, and a self-admitted perfectionist; Meg is working hard to provide an elegant and stylish "trophy" home for her devoted husband and her children. Austin has just been retrenched, a victim of downsizing, he now spends most of his days loafing around, working part time pushing medical equipment whilst ferrying Noah and Josh between school and soccer practice.

Rory and Bruno have been off and on since college. Together for nearly seventeen years, they built a life together, spending their years living in family type neighborhoods as Bruno steadily works his way up the corporate ladder. They're both the first to admit they've never met more than a handful of neighbors, certainly none that needed anything other than a nod or smile in the way of interaction.

At first, the arrival of a couple Meg and Austin is seen as a refreshing change. Austin even remembers Rory and Bruno from his college days, and sees them as curiously insular and comfortably coupled now as they had been then. He makes an instant connection with Rory, drawn to the younger man's youthful vulnerability and artistic temperament.

Meg, on the other hand, presents a veneer of pleasant respectably that her thinly disguises a scathing homophobia. "Who'd ever thought we'd have g*ys for neighbors" she comments to Austin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Euan G. Hunter on 9 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book both easy to read and frustrating. The three main male characters are reasonably believable as people. The author has given them enough substance to be interesting and likeable. You want to know how things will turn out for them. The female character is at best two dimensional. Her attitudes, motivation, reactions and responses are somehow unsatisfactory. At the end of the book her responses and reactions do not fit with the character that she was at the start of the book.
The plot is not complex but it does deal with a powerful situation, where a "straight" married man finds himself attracted to a male neighbour and a relationship develops. The author handles the married man very well and the developing affair is well written.
The ending, however, is frustrating and dissapointing. The very butch partner of the sensitive and loveable neighbour, has an unlikely character shift at the end, where he does not get mad and/or violent with the man who has taken liberties with his partner. The sensitive and loveable partner seems able to put the experience in a box and put a lid on it. The wife suddenly becomes far more tolerant and forgiving than she had been throughout the book to that point. The husband, having tasted the forbidden fruit and obviosly found it very much to his taste, finds no difficulty in reverting to straight married husband.
Far too tidy and not real.
Jay Quinn is obviously a good writer. This was an important subject. He could have written with deeper insight and produced a book that would have had greater relevance to people in a confusing situation.
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Format: Paperback
This book was a curious mix of bland lifestyles in a Suburban setting and modern relationships. I found it difficult to get involved since the characters seemed to have no interests. In its favour Quinn did explore contemporary issues and attitudes about gay couples from the differing perspectives of the Harden family. Bruno and Rory, now 40, have been in a settled relationship for 17 years. They have been living in a new affluent suburban development for two years when the Harden family: Austin and Meg and their two sons Noah (13) and Josh (6) move into the new house next door. Bruno and Meg are the successful professionals whereas Rory and Austin have limited work schedules, no friends or activities and personalities constrained by their more dominant partners. This book improved in the last third as Quinn finally gave his rather two dimensional characters some substance. An adequate light holiday read but it is likely to put you off living in a South Florida suburb no matter how affluent!!
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By S2b an OAP VINE VOICE on 21 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The charcters grew on me as I read this book - and probably developed and deepened as the book continued - so you may have to hang on in there if the going gets tough for you!

It raised, for me, a number of questions about what I would have done in similar circumstances and the author should be congratulated for making that happen.
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By Prakash on 14 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
The story is quite beautifully written and the emotions of the characters could be related to very easily. I sat through and finished the book within 24hrs. Definitely a good read!!!
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