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Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel
     

Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel

4.4 51
by Steve Kluger
 

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A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.

Flash forward twenty years.

Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing .... Travis is the first to figure it out. He's

Overview

A high school jock and nerd fall in love senior year, only to part after an amazing summer of discovery to attend their respective colleges. They keep in touch at first, but then slowly drift apart.

Flash forward twenty years.

Travis and Craig both have great lives, careers, and loves. But something is missing .... Travis is the first to figure it out. He's still in love with Craig, and come what may, he's going after the boy who captured his heart, even if it means forsaking his job, making a fool of himself, and entering the great unknown. Told in narrative, letters, checklists, and more, this is the must-read novel for anyone who's wondered what ever happened to that first great love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kluger's latest epistolary novel (after the well-received Last Days of Summer) is an engrossing, often laugh-out-loud tale of two unlikely lovers. High school jock Craig McKenna and Broadway musical-obsessed Travis Puckett fall in love during their senior year at the Beckley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., spend a summer in Manhattan, then drift tearfully away to different colleges: Travis to USC, Craig to Harvard. Twenty years later, oddball Travis, now a history professor at his alma mater, is a favorite with students thanks to some unorthodox teaching methods, but he's laughably unlucky in love. An injury ended Craig's college football career, and he's now an upstate New York attorney with activist inclinations and a soft spot for runaways. He's also about to marry long-term boyfriend Clayton-though he's never forgotten his first romance. As Travis wades through the dating pool (most of his dates score badly on his "Boyfriend Checklist") and doles out advice to his straight screenwriter roommate Gordo, Craig takes on the biggest case of his life: a run for the state assembly. When Travis becomes determined to reunite with Craig, he sets off on a wild cross-country adventure, providing perfect fodder for Gordo's ultimate screenplay. In true fairy-tale fashion, Travis insinuates himself back into Craig's life, but will the pair end up happily ever after? Though the narrative is overlong, Kluger keeps it absorbing with a parade of newspaper articles, letters, diary entries, checklists, court transcripts and charts, all composed to brilliant comic and dramatic effect. (May) Forecast: This sweet, breezy story will score high with gay readers, but it should also charm anyone who's ever lost a love, and then found him-or her-again. Five-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060595838
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/11/2004
Series:
Harper Perennial
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
237,449
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Almost Like Being in Love


By Kluger, Steve

Perennial

ISBN: 0060595833

Chapter One

Travis and Craig

The Beckley Bugle


McKENNA EARNS VICTORY CUP

All-star quarterback and shortstop Craig McKenna has been awarded Beckley's Victory Cup as the year's most outstanding athlete, in the first unanimous vote since the Cup was instituted in 1943. Leading the Black-and-Grey to a 10–0 gridiron record in the fall, and with an unassailable eleven-game hitting streak in the spring, McKenna will be presented with the Cup at commencement exercises next month -- a fitting farewell as he departs for Harvard and law school in September. Way to go, Craigo!

FIRST SENIOR PROJECTS TURNED IN

Three weeks ahead of the curve, Travis Puckett is the first to submit his completed Senior Project to Mr. Naylor and the English Department. Puckett -- this year's Sheet Monitor in the dorm's laundry room -- has titled his thesis, "Put the Blame on Mame." In it, he examines the purported ties between Patrick Dennis' fictional aunt and the Marxist-Leninist dogma of the late 1940s. "Auntie Mame was a despot," he insists. "The House Un- American Activities Committee would have had her shot on sight." If you say so, Trav.

STAGEHANDS NEEDED FOR BRIGADOON

This year's spring play, produced by Beckley's boys and Mary Immaculate's girls, will be Lerner & Loewe's timeless and everpopular classic, Brigadoon. Under the capable direction of art teacher Pauline Hawkins, the musical will run for three performances during the weekend before commencement. Though the leads have already been cast (sorry, guys), Mrs. Hawkins advises this reporter that "we still need a stage crew." Those willing to volunteer should do so immediately. All others will be drafted.


Craig McKenna -- BECKLEY SCHOOL
Room 311 -- TARRYTOWN, NEW YORK

5/5/78

English Assignment
My Obituary
by Craig McKenna

(Note to Mr. Naylor: I'm pretending it's being written for the Village Voice, so there may be some profane words in it. But not alot.)

A legend has left us -- buried beneath the epitaph he long ago chose for himself: CRAIG McKENNA, LAID AT 15. And who among us can forget the many things he was?

A world-famous Jets quarterback who threw a 98-yard pass during sudden death in Super Bowl XVI. Namath shit a brick.

A world-famous Red Sox slugger who single-handedly brought the World Series title back to Boston for the first time since 1918.

A world-famous rock and roller who packed the Garden with his bass guitar, his T-shirt off, his jeans way tight, and sweat pouring off the body that made them all horny.They called it McKennaMania.

A world-famous attorney who wasn't afraid to go after pain-in-the-ass defendants like U.S. Steel, the Mafia, and France.

And finally a world-famous gigolo who left a string of broken-hearted heiresses strewn across four continents.

He will be missed.

Yeah, right. The one time I accidentally said "hell" in front of Naylor, he threw up on Othello.

The way I've got it figured, there's three ways I can pull this off -- and one's only a maybe.

  1. Bite the bullet, see if it flies, and hope that Harvard's not allowed to take back an admissions certificate even if I flunk English at zero hour.
  2. Sweet-talk Kerry Fusaro, Tom Lee, or Mike Scherago into making changes, but don't hold your breath. Everybody knows that jocks can't handle words with more than one syllable in them. Except me.
  3. (This one's the maybe.) Ask Travis Puckett, the Hello Dolly guy. Even with the blue Van Heusen shirts he's smart, teachers like him, and he was the only one of us who volunteered for Brigadoon without getting threatened first. Come to think of it, he also hasn't said Word One to me in four years, even when we pass each other in the hall. Maybe I called him something slimy in ninth grade back in the days when I was still an asshole. Or maybe he just doesn't like me. (How is that possible?)

Stick with Number 2. You're better off with a buddy who can't spell than an enemy who can.

Continues...

Excerpted from Almost Like Being in Love by Kluger, Steve Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Steve Kluger has written extensively on subjects as far-ranging as World War II, rock 'n' roll, and the Titanic, and as close to the heart as baseball and the Boston Red Sox. He lives in Santa Monica, California.

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Almost Like Being in Love 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I devoured Almost Like Being in Love and found myself getting miffed at life¿s duties that took me away from it (sleeping, driving kids, making meals, etc.) I would have read it all in one sitting had I only been able to. Steve Kluger can take baseball and flagrant, in-your-face gayness (two subjects that probably wouldn¿t jump off the bookshelf at me) and make me beg for more. Kluger¿s ability to use nonconventional ways to portray his characters is uncanny. His characters are intriguingly developed and brought to life through diary entries, faxes, memos, emails, menus, and even court documents. His ability to create a cohesive story with only a miniscule amount of narrative is wondrous. Very few authors could have made this strategy work, and Kluger was clearly successful! Kluger¿s affection for his characters is clear and contagious. He makes them all very human and he deals with their foibles with endearing warmth and humor. He also demonstrates to us that this conglomeration of varied characters is a family in the true sense of the word. The amount of caring and compassion and acceptance illustrated in this book could easily be a lesson to all of us, no matter what orientation, preference, gender, religion, or politics we follow. Although it doesn¿t initially look or sound like it, this is a book about family values, friendship, support, and loyalty.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's always been difficult for me to find quality books featuring non stereotypically gay characters in lead roles, and this book does NOT disappoint. The characters are so relatable and the book is so funny and charming, it deals with big issues without being melodramatic. The book would make such a lovely romantic comedy film. Ahhhhh well, I can dream can't I? Highly recommended for any hopeless romantics out there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe it was a case of overhype, but I pushed myself to finish this book. I kept hoping I would find a moment when the book would click for me, but it never did.
D_MacGowan More than 1 year ago
Another great novel from the current King Of Epistolary Fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it a lot but the first chapter confused me. The format was wierd and their relationship moved too quickly. I also found it strange that wheb they showered tigether annd saw each ither naked it was nbd but when they kissed it was like OMG
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed very much but the ending was predictable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed book very much ;). I mean what it you like someone i dont talk to them and you got a good life and you have alife and after all those years you finllay remeber ? I true loved this book and i hope you do too.... Enjoy!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I havent laughed this hard from a book in a long time. Wonderful.
mbphil More than 1 year ago
Hands down one of the funniest books I've read in my life. Highly recommended!
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