Like People in Historyby Felice Picano
Picano--bestselling author, founder of the first gay publshing house in New York, and one of the original seven members of the legendary Violet Quill Club--uniquely captures American gay life and subculture during the last half of the 20th century in this brilliantly written, extraordinarily entertaining saga.
- Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.20(w) x 7.72(h) x 0.94(d)
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Like People in History by Felice Picano I just finished reading Felice Picano's Like People in history for the fifth time and I'm happy to report the book withstands the passage of time. i found it as relevant today as when I first read it in the late 90's. The book takes place in 1991, when Roger Sansarc and his current HIV positive lover and ACT UP activist Wally are on the way to a demonstration at Gracie Mansion. On their way, the duo makes a detour to Rogers's dying cousin, Alistair Dodge, to deliver 60 Tuinals so Alistair can kill himself. Wally and Roger argue as to the merits of ending the life of a dying AIDS patient, so Roger recounts his anecdotes of his relationship with Alistair. The book is divided into five sections, each one starts with the present and then goes back to 1954, 1961, 1969, 1974, and 1985. In each section we not only get a pertinent piece of the relationship between Roger and Alistair, but also the history of the GLBT community at the time. Narrated beautifully from Roger's first person point of view, we meet the cousins in 1954, as Alistair's parents are getting a divorce. It is clear from the beginning that Alistair is a charismatic flamboyant person who easily takes over Roger's world and teaches his cousin a thing or two about how things work: "Well, just remember this, Cuz. Schmucks like that will come and go in your life. They don't mean a thing. I'm the one who counts. I'm the one you're going to have to face and deal with. Because I'm the one who's going to be around for a long, long time." In 1961, we deal with Roger's trip to visit his cousin in Los Angeles and Roger's dealings with his sexuality. The big theme of the 60's was coming out. In 1974, we deal with Roger's trip to Provincetown and his stent at the Pozzuoli bookstore. After reading nights at Rizzoli, Mr. Picano's newest non-fiction novel, it's easy to see where he got the material. Here is when Roger falls in love with Matt Longuidice, his first true love. In 1979, the action shifts to Fire Island, The Pines and Roger's relationship with Matt Longuidice develops into an open relationship and the book ends with Alistair stealing Matt away from Roger. "What if Stonewall hadn't happened? Would we all be zipping around and hiding like those poor fifties queens? Daring our jobs, our lives, to be ourselves, to even protest?" "We've been the first generation of gays to force ourselves or to be forced out of the closet. We had to experience the traumas of coming out, and making the gay movement happen, not to mention the more general trauma of getting through the roller coaster of the late sixties...." In 1984, Roger finds out Matt is sick, and both he and Alistair help Matt cope with his AIDS disease and gently help him die - which brings us back to 1991 and Wally and Roger helping Alistair die. "Golden lads, that's what Haussman called the huge promising generation of young Brits mowed down in the First World War." "Nature is usually so tightfisted with what it provides. So very prudent how it husbands its resources. Why would Nature go to the trouble to create so much luxuriance in what after all was a group of nonreproductive creatures? Why create such an extraordinary generation of beautiful, talented, quickly intelligent men, and then why let them all die so rapidly, one after the other?" Knowing Felice, the book deals a lot with his Survivor's remorse: "My doom was of another kind. Perhaps survival was to be my doom." "Who's left? How few of us? Why bother to leave any of us? Why not just wipe the slate clean and admit it was a mistake?" To answer Felice and my own survival's remorse, we're hear to remind everyone of what can happen if we don't keep watch. We're here to remind the young homosexuals who are working so hard on their wedding plans that a lot went on so that they could be accepted by society. Lots of lives were lost and lots of hard work occurred so that they can have a normal life. i just hope people continue to read this novel so that we don't forget....
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.
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!
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.
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.