Getting Over Homer

Getting Over Homer

by Mark O'Donnell
     
 

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"Wise and forgiving . . . tough-minded and tender-hearted" (The New York Times), this delicious "coming of middle age" novel takes a lyrical, winsome, and genuinely side-splitting look at the heartbreak, aging, the search for home, and the madness of love between two mismatched men. "A stylish mix of humorous irony and realistic detail."—San Francisco Examiner &…  See more details below

Overview

"Wise and forgiving . . . tough-minded and tender-hearted" (The New York Times), this delicious "coming of middle age" novel takes a lyrical, winsome, and genuinely side-splitting look at the heartbreak, aging, the search for home, and the madness of love between two mismatched men. "A stylish mix of humorous irony and realistic detail."—San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The playwright and humorist's first novel is a witty story of romantic loveand miseryin gay New York. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
A loopy, rather wonderful fiction debut by O'Donnell, whose Vertigo Park and Other Tall Tales (1993) Kirkus called silly/funny "with verve of steel."

For all his puns and wordplay, O'Donnell still keeps that steel verve as an understructure to his japes. And he has a golden ear for capturing the tones of New York's gay culture. The story starts in Catholic Cleveland with the birth of Blue and Red Monahan, identical twins, their real names Hans Christian and Robert Louis. Mother Monahan keeps a crucifix in every room of the house, like a fire extinguisher. And the boys are up to their necks in siblings, whose marriages and careers we follow sporadically throughout the novel. Mostly, though, the story's about Blue, now a Manhattan songwriter, who discovers early on that he has a talent for writing tunes and lyrics: as an adolescent, he has a hit song, "Love Is the Answer." (He later finds that life is the answer and love the question.) Red falls into a hit television show and becomes immensely famous, while Blue's Homeric musical Odyssey folds after a week off-off-off-Broadway. The plot repeatedly returns to Blue's two heartbreaking, failed love affairs, played out against the backgrounds of gay life on Fire Island and the Pines, in the Village, and at uptown penthouses. Blue's vulnerable heart, his grief and anger for his lost loves Homer and Teddy, is explored with great clarity, and you don't have to be gay to experience these losses with him. In the end, both Homer and Teddy abandon him with a cruelty stemming from their own shortcomings. Meanwhile, his friends start falling off into oblivion, many with AIDS, in a series of farewell scenes handled with much skill. Blue, chastened by love and loss, grows up.

Universal feelings persuasively explored.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679445906
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/16/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.71(h) x 0.90(d)

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