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4.4 out of 5 stars14
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2014
Well, I picked up this book at the airport yesterday: a bit of lighthearted reading in between my flights, I thought. I was hooked from the word go, but this is far from light-hearted. It's an amazing account of a gay man's life through nearly a century that has seen some of the most awful and wonderful things happen to the gay community. He has witnessed at first hand human beings at their most intolerant and most accepting, and he still fights for what he believes in, even in his 10th decade on this planet: "To be able to love and be loved in return by whomever he chooses".
Even though 54 years separate us in age, as a gay man, I could really relate to a lot of the thoughts and feelings George has had throughout his life. We as a society tend to look at our elderly population as a bit of a burden: needing help with everything, unable to get around very well, absent-minded. We forget that they have the vast knowledge that life brings and they have had all the same wants, needs, desires and insecurities we have now.
The book is written in a charmingly friendly style. I felt like I was sitting with George in the pub as he told me his life story. His way of writing really makes you feel enamoured to the man, rooting for some good to come out of what, at times, must have been an extremely stressful life of internal conflict. As you can see from the front cover and from the wonderful pictures inside, the hard journey was worth it. I do hope it is not just the gay community that picks up this book to have a read; as society changes rapidly there are still the intolerant people out there who would benefit from seeing how their narrow-mindedness can affect people so deeply. I also hope the young gay community picks this book up too, to see how a lifestyle that they take for granted was so different only a very short time ago.
I thank George for having the courage to put his (in places) very open and frank story into the world. I laughed, blushed, got angry and had a tear rolling down my face as I was let into what is usually someone's private life. I hope this book does really well.
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on 2 October 2014
A great book and an essential read. Really puts modern gay life into perspective. Such honesty and details every part of his life and coming to accept himself. Something that everyone who is LGBT can identify with. Thanks to George for sharing his life for us to all read and doing a great service for the community.
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on 25 March 2015
George Montague provides a rare insider view of the tumultuous changes in gay British life from the 1940s into the new millennium. He is the rare guide--knowledgeable, modest, concerned, able to convey his passion. His concern for the most vulnerable around him suggests values that have sadly been lost. And it is a success story, for in his ninety years he has made a comfortable living, father loving children, married an understanding women, and found a fairly large number of men to love. To survive is one thing, to survive with passion is quite another. This is a life told with humor, spunk, commitment, and considerable warmth.
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on 4 March 2015
Well written and hopefully George's account of the life he was forced to lead because of homophobia will make people today sit up and realise how stupid people's views were, assuming things have changed!
This is a book that should be read by everyone who believes you choose to be gay.
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on 16 December 2015
Really hated this. I thought that George would provide some insights into the perils of living as a gay man in Britain during the 50's-90's but no such luck. He obsesses continually about the supposed link in public consciousness between being gay and paedophilia. In reality I am not sure that such a perception exists in general. Equally he tells us how some men are attracted to much older men (gerontophiles) but he does not seem able to turn the tables on himself and recognise that he is evidently an older man attracted to much younger men. He lacks self-awareness. His style is dull. His life was pretty uneventful. In the course of the book only one particularly 'bad' thing happened to him and he seems to have even escaped that relatively unscathed. Give this a miss. There are surely better and more informative accounts out there.
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on 15 July 2014
What a life you've had George!! Fascinating stuff and so well recalled. The historical element at a National level was very interesting too. You deserve to sell many copies. Good luck!
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on 1 May 2015
A very honest account of a life lived during an appalling era for those unfairly discriminated against. Thank goodness equality is here
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on 31 March 2015
An excellent read. Well researched and a very interesting life. I wish he'd write more. This should be read by al - gay or straight.
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on 3 September 2014
Received in good time to give as a gift.
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on 23 September 2014
Interesting and not badly written.
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