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Like People in History

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Overview

In a book that could have been written only by one who lived it and survived to tell, Picano weaves a powerful saga of four decades in the lives of two men and their lovers, relatives, friends, and enemies. Tragic, comic, sexy, and romantic, filled with varied and colorful characters, Like People in History is both extraordinarily moving and supremely entertaining. Solid, cautious Roger Sansarc and flamboyant, mercurial Alistair Dodge are second cousins who become lifelong friends when they first meet as ...
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Overview

In a book that could have been written only by one who lived it and survived to tell, Picano weaves a powerful saga of four decades in the lives of two men and their lovers, relatives, friends, and enemies. Tragic, comic, sexy, and romantic, filled with varied and colorful characters, Like People in History is both extraordinarily moving and supremely entertaining. Solid, cautious Roger Sansarc and flamboyant, mercurial Alistair Dodge are second cousins who become lifelong friends when they first meet as nine-year-old boys in 1954. Their lives constantly intersect at crucial moments in their personal histories as each discovers his own unique - and uniquely gay - identity. Through the lens of their complex, tumultuous, madcap, yet enduring relationship - and their involvement with the handsome model, poet, and decorated Vietnam vet Matt Loguidice, whom they both love - Picano chronicles and celebrates gay life and subculture over the last half of the twentieth century: from the legendary 1969 gathering at Woodstock to the legendary parties at Fire Island Pines in the 1970s, from Malibu Beach in its palmiest surfer days to San Francisco during its gayest era, from the cities and jungles of South Vietnam during the war to Manhattan's Greenwich Village and Upper East Side during the present-day AIDS war.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though Picano's latest may lack the significance implied by its subtitle, his memorable characters and wonderfully dishy dialogue evoke changing gay sensibilities with affecting measures of both tragedy and comedy. The novel opens in New York City, 1991, with literary maven Roger Sansarc, who narrates, and his current boyfriend attending a 45th-birthday celebration for Roger's flamboyant second cousin, Alistair Dodge. Alistair is suffering from AIDS, and Roger has brought the requested pills to hasten his demise. The action flashes back to 1954, when Roger and Alistair first meet, as fourth graders; subsequent sections alternate between the present-detailing Alistair's fate, as well as a heated ACT UP demonstration-and assorted professional and amatory episodes in the lives of the conservative Roger and his ever-outr relation. Comparisons with Ethan Mordden's similarly themed How Long Has This Been Going On? are inevitable: both books portray America's evolving gay culture during the past few decades. Picano's tale is the more traditional in style and structure, while Mordden brings greater scope and sweep to his freewheeling, in-your-face novel. Despite the dramatic events and requisite period references here (e.g., mentholated Kent cigarettes, Mary Renault's The Persian Boy), the historical perspective Picano brings seems somewhat forced. Nevertheless, his finely crafted prose makes these People consistently absorbing. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140245257
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/11/1996
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.72 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2004

    Just really good, riviting

    This was just a very well written novel. I was completely enthralled in the lives of the main characters. It brought out so many different emotions and the structue of the writing and the novel in general is very original, I thought. At the same time, it was easy to follow and easy to read but wasn't written like it's meant for a juvenile. I'd recommend it for anybody who loves a good read that goes by quickly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2002

    Bravo, more please!

    I recently finished reading this epic tale of gay life and it was hard for me to put the book down. I wanted it to continue! I really enjoyed the characters, the writing style, the depth in the two main characters and most of all the brief history lesson. As part of the 'Will and Grace' generation it was a great insight to what the gay generations before us did, not to mention a lot of laughs and a couple of tears! Good Reading for sure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2001

    Incredible

    One of the most memorable books I've read. The story alone is good, but it's incredible because of the characters. This book continued to affect me long after I finished reading it; I still find myself thinking about the characters now and then.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2001

    Loved it

    I just finished reading the novel and absolutely loved it. As a college student I'm constantly reading, but this 500 some odd page novel was well worth the time. Everytime I was forced to put it down I couldn't wait for the next chance I had to read more. Funny, sad, inspiring, empowering, I loved it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2000

    Facinating People!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this 'epic' novel which details gay history in America from the 1950's through the 1990's by exploring the lives of its two central characters as they grow up gay amidst changing social conditions. At times this novel is funny, touching, sexy and wise. Highly recommended, even if overly long, this novel is clearly heartfelt and well written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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