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Lust Paperback – 5 Feb 2001

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Paperback, 5 Feb 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo (5 Feb. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002259877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002259873
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,586,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Caught in a mid-life crisis, Michael, the slightly weary hero of Geoff Ryman's Lust, finds himself with a somewhat double-edged gift. He can summon anyone he likes--which mostly means mature men--in a convenient disposable copy and make love to them, irrespective of the original's sexuality. None of this does anything for his concentration on a research experiment, his chronic impotence or the collapse of his relationship with his long-term boyfriend, but he does get to have encounters with Tarzan, Alexander the Great, Billie Holliday, Picasso and a cartoon diva. He also learns a lot about himself--we gradually realise that there are major wounds in Michael's past with which he has failed to come to terms; in the end, his gift teaches him something about liking himself. This could have been a piece of playful erotic fluff, or a moralising piece of self-help sentimentality; Geoff Ryman gives us fluff and some serious morality, but also gives us heart and intelligence. We find ourselves caring that Michael gets through this without permanent damage, admiring the dogged brilliance he brings to finding out just what the limits of his gift are. --Roz Kaveney

Review

Praise for 253:

‘Has more emotional depth than a festival of tear-jerkers’
INDEPENDENT

‘A stylistically dazzling box of fireworks’
GLASGOW HERALD

‘Astonishingly vibrant… lyrical and totally engaging’
LA TIMES

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I almost didn't buy this because of a previous review but I like Geoff Ryman so decided to go with it and am glad I did.The full title of this book is "Lust..Four letters. Infinite Possiblitiles"There is a lot going on in this book. Although the main character is fortyish..he is still trying to find who he is and where he belongs...I sincelerly felt for him.The writing in this book is lovely. Missed opportunities, lost chances, having the nerve to let your emotions lead you and following them. These are some of the things touched upon in this book. There are som exquisitely touching scenes, some touching sentences. There is real heart at the center of this book. It is NOT a book simply about a gay man having sex with anyone his imagination can contrive.It is about all of us trying to find some sort of love based in reality and not built on the fantasies of our youth or the movies.Really, please give this book a try.I don't think you will regret it. I didn't.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most original stories I read in a long time -- more so because it was written in a conversational, non-preachy stream-of-consciousness which somehow involves the reader.
The book raises questions about Messianic possibilities and the excruciatingly painful stings of humiliations due to missed opportunities and lost chances. The book realistically investigates Michael Blasco's "gift" and how even the possession of such a gift can still make one lonely, wanting and unfulfilled. The author seems to know the nuances and ramifications of love in its glory and loss at its most heart-rending.
The book has a lot of heart and a wry sense of humor and it ended with wise authority. I thought the conjuring of Billie Holiday and Pablo Picasso were original (I had fun reading Billie's envy to Ella Fitzgerald and how Teddy Wilson hated her and quickened the tempo of "What A Little Moonlight Can Do") and inspired.
Although the vivid descriptions of same sex copulations are an acquired taste, one can't help but laugh at Ryman's descriptions and comparisons to animals. His perspicacity in observing humans and how their faces tell many telling things are what gave this book its deserved excellence and timelessness.
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Format: Paperback
Michael (the central character) is the usual wonder of the gay novel - a gay man in crisis. For all his faults, though, I loved him. Ryman writes in a very cosy, chatty and enveloping style. His characters are well thought out and the usual gay cant is thankfully missing. I wanted Michael to return to Phil in the end and it was my only disappointment. I found the book, as they say, unputdownable.
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Format: Hardcover
Living in London, Michael Blasco, good looking at 38, has been in a relationship for around twelve years, but things have not been going too well of late, and while they still share a bed, he and Philip otherwise seem to lead separate lives. Matters are not helped by Michaels impotence. He's a workaholic too, a research scientist and teacher just opening a new lad for his research project. It is then that he discovers he has a unique power, he is able to conjure out of nothing the attractive young man at his gym, and he can make him do whatever he wants, that includes wanting to sleep with Michael. Michael soon learns that he can summon almost anyone he desires, living or now dead. Being a scientist he also experiments with this power, and learns some of the limitations along with some advantages.

This new found power begins to take over his life, affecting his work and relations with real people, and while he can have anyone he wants (he calls them angels), he seems unable to establish a loving relationship with a real person. But can he live with his angels, among whom he calls up missed opportunities from his own past as well as the likes of Billie Holiday, Tarzan, Lawrence of Arabia and Picaso, not to mention a cartoon character and an entire New Zealand team?

This makes for a most interesting story. Ryman approaches the idea sensibly, using Michael's scientific mind as a means of maintaining a sense of reality to the fantasy. He is able to explore his ruined childhood relationship with his father, divorced from his mother and with whom he would spend his summers in the US; gradually he learns about himself, and eventually gains self respect. The slightly misleading title, Lust, while being perhaps one of Michael's perceived problems, hides a very thought provoking and well reasoned storyline that ponders a number of interesting questions and possibilities, which Ryman does not neglect.
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