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Man's World Paperback – 20 Jan 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: ARCADIA BOOKS; Reprint edition (20 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906413800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413804
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Funny, dirty, deeply romantic, Man's World is a wonderfully evocative novel that hurtles between now and our recent history in a wild and emotional waltzer ride' Jake Arnott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Rupert Smith is the author of nine novels, in his own name and as James Lear, and of several biographies ad books about television. He was born in Washington DC, grew up in Surrey and has lived in London since 1978. As well as writing fiction, Rupert has a long career as a journalist, contributing to dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Britain, America and Europe. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Blurbs often say that a book is "unputdownable" or "a pageturner". If that is often a way to trick potential readers into buying worthless rubbish, it's not the case of Rupert Smith's "Man's World". What you have here is a real feast for the reader. When you start reading it, you must reach the end as soon as possible... and then you'd wish to have more and more. "Man's World" tells the fascinating story of a group of gay men in two very different times: England and London in the Fifties and nowadays. Those who take all our modern freedoms for granted hardly know how difficult it was then to live as a gay man and how many hurdles you had to overcome in order to simply survive. Robert (and his friend Jonathan) belong to those who don't know and don't care, as long as they can revel in their world made of drugs, sex, shopping and clubbing... But soon Robert meets 70-year-old Michael, his new neighbour, and discover his past. And little by little Robert understands how lucky he is and how grateful he should be to men like Michael and Stephen for fighting for him too. Written in the form of Michael's diary and Robert's weblog, "Man's world" is funny and sad, wise and moving, sexy and thoughtful. Not only is it extremely readable - in the best tradition of English speaking literature -, but it also conveys what once was called "a message", without ever being highbrow or boringly intellectual. Rupert Smith's best literary achievement so far.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rupert Smith's work is known to, and loved by, many of us. Writing as James Lear, he has written some of the funniest and sexiest erotic gay fiction. This book is funny, sexy and brilliantly written as always. But it does more than that. Robert is a young gay man, out on the London gay scene, doing drugs and tricks and lurching pleasurably but unhappily from one sensation to the next. His best friend, Jonathan, a memorable fictional creation, leads an even more unfocussed life, seemingly untouched by adulthood or responsibility.
In the flat beneath Robert's lives Michael, an elderly man whose partner has just died. The book interweaves the life story of Michael, and his now-dead partner, Mervyn, with those of Robert and Jonathan, taking us back to the 50s, to national service, to an era when queers were thought to be sickos and the London gay scene, while vibrant, was clandestine and criminalised. The relationship between Michael and his RAF national service buddy, Mervyn, and the whole atmosphere of the period, are depicted with a mixture of comedy and poignancy reminiscent of David Lodge. The underlying theme of the book is that superficial similarities between the two eras may be few but the common threads of desire and love and loss between the people in each are very close. Smith writes without sentimentality and with understatement and the book is the more powerful for it. As a work of gay fiction in 2010, this one will be hard to beat.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Once upon a time, in Englan you could go to jail for being gay,even if you, like Alan Turing, helped save the world. you had to practiceyour "vice" in secret, in hidden places at night, Then homosexuality was decriminalized, then came the sexual revolution, a change of mores, and, AIDS and Margaret Thatcher's homophobia notwithstanding, now gays in london are free to live their life in the open, like the young protagonist of this novel, who we see move in his new apartment "helped" by a rather exploitive and egotistic friend. Parallel to the blog of the modern gay runs the secret diary of Mychael in the London of fifty years ago, till then and Now shall meet and appraise each other, both searching for love and happiness, but the old cowing in the underground, the new so often taking lightly for granted a freedom the old could only dream and had to fight hard to conquer.
This novel, deliciously witten, with very sympathetic and interesting characters, is one of the best gay novels i've rad. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a rare treasure - an elegantly woven tapestry of gay life, moving deftly between modern-day gay London and the queer underworld of the 1950s. There are so many alluring things about "Man's World"...to name just a few...the way in which Rupert Smith captures the covert, sexy, shadowy world of the 1950s with such vivid intensity....the slow-burn sexual tension and longing in the unfolding relationship between Michael and the gorgeous prize-winning boxer Mervyn....the depiction of friendships between gay men being tentatively forged across generations. This bridging of generations has particular significance, as the younger gay men in the story begin to understand and appreciate the value of the older gay men: how these fabulous, fascinating and brave queens of the past paved the way for the younger gay men, in so many ways. Simultaneously laugh-out-loud funny, deeply thoughtful and breathtakingly sexy, this book will inspire, intrigue and seduce you. It's the first Rupert Smith book I've read and it was an absolute pleasure...can't wait to discover his other works...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The style of interwoven chapters recounting the life of two 1950's lovers with two platonic friends in modern times makes for a very interesting read; the instant comparison between the struggles of the compulsory closet of the 1950's to the shallowness of more recent times highlights the 'progress' society has made over those years. And the distance it yet has to travel for some.

The terror under which anyone perceived as gay lived every day in the 50's in the UK is very well described and helps to explain how Mervyn and Michael's relationship slowly developed over a number of years. Then you are instantly transported into the later hedonistic and drug-fuelled world inhabited by Robert and Jonathan, where relationships are (or seem to be) two-a-penny, and we then follow their not-so-slow descent into despair and back again. And the two worlds collide.

A book to savour. The story continued going through my head for quite a while after I'd finished it.
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