The Extra Man

The Extra Man

by Jonathan Ames
4.2 14


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The Extra Man by Jonathan Ames

“A storyteller of refreshing inventiveness and subtlety” (San Francisco Chronicle), Jonathan Ames has won critical raves for this delightful “comedy of impeccable manners with a debauched '90s spin” (Elle).

Meet Louis Ives: well-groomed, romantic, and as captivating as an F. Scott Fitzgerald hero. Only this hero has a penchant for ladies clothes, and he's lost his teaching post at Princeton’s Pretty Brook Day School after an unfortunate incident involving a colleague’s brassiere.

Meet Henry Harrison: former actor, failed but brilliant playwright, and a well-seasoned escort for New York City’s women of means. He dances alone to Ethel Merman records, second-acts operas, and performs his scrappy life with the dignity befitting a self-styled man of the world. What can this ageless Don Quixote of the Upper East Side have to offer a young gentleman such as Louis? What, indeed.

Well, the answer lies somewhere between the needs of an irascible mentor and the education of his eager apprentice...between cocktails on the Upper East Side and an even more intoxicating treat along the secret fringes of Times Square...and between friendship and longing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671015589
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 07/28/1999
Series: Contemporary Classics Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,036,103
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Ames is the author of I Pass Like Night; The Extra Man; What’s Not to Love?; My Less Than Secret Life; Wake Up, Sir!; I Love You More Than You Know; The Alcoholic; and The Double Life Is Twice As Good. He’s the creator of the HBO® Original Series Bored to Death and has had two amateur boxing matches, fighting as “The Herring Wonder.” For more information visit

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The Extra Man 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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ZigZag68 More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. For those of us that are a bit unusual, this book is an inspiration. Beautifully written and insightful, I can't wait to read more of his books.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a quirky little novel! (I like quirky novels, but sometimes "originals" are hard to find.) To me, the strongest part of this novel was the dialogue. It's brilliant. Henry Harrison is one of the most original characters you'll ever meet in a novel. I could not wait to hear what he would say every time he opened his mouth. Both of the protagonists were written to be very real characters. Henry Harrison is a riot, and thanks to the author, I can picture him exactly. The other protagonist, Louis Ives, is a much sadder and overall pathetic specimen, and although no less real, I felt very sad for him, although I did not like him very much. I loved the descriptions of seedy and glamorous New York City life cerca the early 1990s. Very memorable book, and I wish I could discuss the characters in detail with someone... although sadly, I can't recommend it to the women in my book club - they would be appalled.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the third book from Jonathan Ames that I've read. I finished this one in less than a week. It was so great, I couldn't put it down. It's very unusual, sexual, awkward and the main characters are sometimes so strange it puts you off. But you can't help but want to know them even more. I recommend it highly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I chuckled continually as I read this lovely comic novel. Ames has created several memorable characters, particularly in Henry Harrison, and a touching story about the relationship between Harrison and Louis Ives. While some readers seem to have focused on the book's sexual content, that material was only one aspect of it -- and anyone who focuses on it exclusively, or judges the book based solely on the sex, will miss the rest of this very funny offering. My only criticism (and a slight one at that) is that the ending was a little weak. But definitely recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a modern comedy of manners. An up-to-date Wodehouse about a bisexual young man in New York City.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Picture, an older, slim, Ignaious living in NYC and you will fall in love with the bizarre 'landlord' and his confused and lonely 'roommate'. Plan to pick this novel for our April book group.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I expected the book to have more Gay content, but found instead that it was much more of a story about slightly confused and possibly Bisexual men. The book was very enjoyable and I am glad I purchased it anyway. Anyone looking for a sexually explicit book should look elsewhere. However, if you just enjoy reading, this is a good one.