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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Original but depressing and too autobiographical., 26 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Got 'Til it's Gone (Paperback)
I really enjoyed 'Blackbird', which was the funny and engaging and made you fall for Johnny Rousseau, its narrator and central character. Now Rousseau is a forty eight year-old, coming to terms with the death of his former partner and the deaths of other friends from HIV/Aids, facing up to his own aches and pains, his mother's fatal brain tumour and trying desperately to ensure that he is, in middle age, a Daddy and not a Troll. The book reads as if it is semi-autobiographical and more like a diary than a novel in places. Johnny's love affair with Joe, a much younger, beautiful guy - a tart with a heart of gold; his neglect of his close friend and occasional lover, Dre; and the drama of his straight friend Sully hooking up with a guy at work take second place to the drama of the fatal brain tumour and impending death of Johnny's mother, Clara. Thus the book is always interesting, always powerfully written but does not always hang together as a novel. I was very sympathetic to the searing pain Johnny suffered in his testicles when making love to Joe but also felt it was a case of TMI. This is a book more full of things Duplechan needed to say than things I necessarily wanted to know. The book ends on a high note but too late to lift my spirits.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't feel the pain, 30 Mar. 2014
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Richard Brown (Hove, E.Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Got 'Til it's Gone (Paperback)
This one of those novels that one skims through fast - I read it in one sitting - because there's not much depth; one knows what is coming almost before one reads it, and its major themes are not fully developed. Which is a little surprising given that the subject matter is all about love, death and impending death, grieving, broken love affairs, memorial services, and the like - the generally upbeat, diary-like tone is often at odds with the subject matter. It's self-consciously contemporary, conversational, confessional, wears its heart on its sleeve (a lot of crying and declarations of heart-felt love) and reads more like a disguised autobiography than a carefully plotted novel. Perhaps it would help if I'd read the previous three novels in the series, 'Blackbird' being its notable first.

It's very much a gay novel, dealing with gay sex and love affairs, HIV and death through AIDS, inter-generational love affairs between men, 'friends with benefits', what it's like to be an aging gay man in a world that privileges male youth and beauty. But it does not really add anything to what we have already met in many other gay novels. Perhaps the black angle is different, but not much else, it's one of the themes not full developed. The age difference between the 50 year old narrator and his 33 year old lover is flagged up as an issue but, again, it is not explored in any meaningful way. And that goes for all the issues in the book, except perhaps the cancer theme (the relationship between the hero and his dying mother is the strongest thread running through the book). Even the revelation at the hospital bedside, when the narrator finds out his father is not who he thought he was, lacks the impact it should have had. The book has many good qualities but doesn't cohere into a satisfying whole nor give due weight to its most important elements.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In the top ten?, 16 Nov. 2008
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Martin Dolphin (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Got 'Til it's Gone (Paperback)
Bit bored of seeing lesbian books in the top ten, and not quite sure how this makes it into the top books - suspect it may be lack of new books for gay men - seems that the lesbians either buy more or more are available.

it's not a bad book - all about a few months in the life of a 48 year old muscle Daddy -unfortunately he's not in Crewe, UK but is in LA - it's ok but not as good as a lot I've read, and not that real for me - unless he moves!
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Got 'Til it's Gone
Got 'Til it's Gone by Larry Duplechan (Paperback - 28 Nov. 2008)
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