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on 15 June 1999
While some readers may be put off by Jeff, the self-absorbed protagonist of this beautifully written first novel, others will find it, like I did, to strike a cord. Jeff seems to want it all-his lover Lloyd, the younger trick who turns out to be more, Eduardo, and the nameless men he meets at rest stops and tea dances. That one side of him is balanced by his eagerness explore his options, his psyche and his world. He has genuine love for the three primary men in his life and that love shines through. His relationships with his other family, his mother and father and siblings, are very real and telling. A terrific book that says a great deal about today's Gay world and about emotions and relationships in general.
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on 22 February 1999
Gay Men's Book Group - Ridgefield, CT
In February, we separated "The Men From The Boys" by reading the book by William J. Mann. Many in the group enjoyed the book, feeling connected to the setting in Provincetown and to the events. While the group as a whole would probably only give it four stars, I have to give it five. Some were put off by the narrator's self obsessions.
Underneath the story itself is an interesting commentary on the party life of gay men as seen in Provincetown in the summer party months. Thus Mann turns a story about relationships, affairs and families of all types into a commentary on maturing as individuals and as a generation by building strength and wisdom.
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on 22 June 1998
Having visited Provincetown many times over the years (though never often enough), I was immediately drawn into this tale. The places I have visited were brought to life by Bill Mann in a way that gripped my soul. I felt as though I tricked with Jeff and cried with Lloyd. I laughed, shuddered, and walked on the beach with these characters. Mr. Mann managed to allow me to see, feel and sense the depth of these people. I feel as though I have gotten to know them so well in these 342 pages. I was privileged to meet them. They are a triumph to the human spirit. I honestly miss them since I finished the book (some 6 hours ago). I wish for the next chapter to begin tomorrow. Thank you Bill Mann for a truly exceptional experience.
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on 28 October 1998
Having lived in Provincetown for two magical years and having started my life as a writer there, I was on familiar territory as I read this book. These are people I know, not literally, but figuratively. They ring true. Honest. I too wanted to slap the narrator for thinking his life as a sexy gay man was over at 33, but didn't we all think that then? And didn't we all realize that 43 and 53 and so on were sexier, happier and more fulfilling times?
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on 23 July 1999
I ordered this book and let it sit on my desk for 6 months before a friend saw it and starting gushing about how it was one of the "best books I've ever read." All I can say is "Damn". This book is phenomenal. Perfectly captures the intricacies of relationships between men. Dating women and dating men are just different beasts. The deals with the devil that we make to keep things going are haunting. Do we face the worst in us (lust / cheating) with honest and deal with it through trust and openness, and when we do, do we still lose. Breathtaking writing -- found myself consciously slowing down to revel in the subtle genius of the author. Makes me glad to live in a world where artists at the peaks can be shared with millions. Share this book with others if you love them. What a gift to give.
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on 8 November 1998
I was so deeply touched by this book it is very insperational and very real at the same time. this book is like a butiful painting from the moment u look at the ideas and impresions. it stays with you forever!!
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on 17 May 2013
Don't bother with this. the story is uninspiring and the scenes all the same. How these guys stay in a relationship is beyond me. There appears no happiness in their life.
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on 4 January 1999
whether gay or straight, this book is so stark and real you can't help but be affected by it. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on 16 July 1998
At first, the flow of Men from the Boys is a bit difficult to follow. Chapters alternate between present day and a year earlier. Once you get used to this switching back and forth, the story becomes much easier to read. A what a great story it is. Jeff, Lloyd, Javits, Eduardo, Tommy etal, remind us all of someone we once knew as they struggle to make sense of gay love in the 90's. At once sad - poor Mr. Tompkins; poor Jeff and Javits; poor Jeff and Lloyd; poor Jeff and Eduardo; poor Jeff and Tommy, and profound - how DID Eduardo learn his life philosophy at such a tender young age?). In the end, a wholly satisfying novel without being falsely upbeat, sugar-coated, or sickeningly sweet. A beautiful read, a great story, and a lovable cast of characters. I only wish Jeff would have actually found the star in the sand! Highly recommended, but how long do I have to wait for the sequel?
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on 1 September 1999
One of the flattest, most self-indulgent, non-literary books I have ever read in this genre. Perfect airport book for the neutered, non-threatening gay market. This is what years of writing complimentary book reviews for others will get you: a book deal where you can drag out your own self-satisfied white upper class Boston P-Town life. "Ho-hum, the dogs need feeding, I have an open relationship. What a quandary?" This is one of those books filled with people you'd hate to be stuck with at a dinner party.
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