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Larry Kramer's Faggots has been in print since its original publication in 1978 and has become one of the best-selling novels about gay life ever written. The book is a fierce satire of the gay ghetto and a touching story of one man's desperate search for love there, and reading it today is a fascinating look at how much, and how little, has changed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802136916
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/2000
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 210,973
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

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Faggots 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Faggots' is a highly satiric look at New York/Fire Island gay life in the late 1970s, before social convention and AIDS reigned in the boys-will-be-boys sexual experimentation and promiscuity of some gay men. (NOTE: I am obliged to say that not all gay men are drug-using, chandelier-swinging, sexual rabbits or wish to be. Many have steady lovers and are as monogamous as the most faithful wife and husband. This message was brought to you by the Gay Republican Party. All twelve of them promised to beat me up if I didn't deliver. Just kidding.) Seriously, Kramer's moral, that gay men should treat each other as people and not as commodities, has worn well with time. When a woman complains that men are treating her just as a collection of body parts, a gay man can usually sympathize with her point of view. The novel's main character, Fred Lemish, is a neurotic gay man on the edge of his 40th birthday. Fred is determined to find love and he thinks he has it in the form of 'Dinky' Adams. Fred pursues Dinky through the worst (or 'best' if you feel nostalgic) sexual excesses New York and Fire Island could offer in those years. No party, orgy or drug was off limits. People today may think that Kramer was exaggerating the gay scene for shock value, but actually he was taking the most excessive side of things and telling the story pretty straight. But what is the increasingly desperate Fred willing to do for love?
thorold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It must be going on for twenty years since the last time I read this - I got it down off the shelf again after seeing Larry Kramer talking about the 70s in a TV programme. It's very much a book that could only have been written at one moment in history: an ironic, satirical, but also very affectionate account of the excesses of gay life in New York in the years between Stonewall and AIDS, with a group of characters looking for love, but finding sex. I was going to write "don't read this book if you're easily shocked," but on reflection, that's wrong. The whole point of the book is épater la bourgeoisie. If you're not shocked, ask for your money back. Kramer gleefully depicts in detail almost every imaginable kind of sex act (and some you probably prefer not to imagine), in all the classic settings (the Piers, the Baths, Fire Island, ...) and takes a pot shot at pretty much every sacred cow he can think of ¿ religion, race, family, marriage, youth, politics, literature: nothing is safe. The book created a new spirit of harmony and understanding between gay and straight critics when it was first published: they all hated it equally. Andrew Holleran's Dancer from the dance, published the same year, claimed a mystical, liberating, transformative beauty for the New York gay disco culture; Kramer depicts it as selfish, vain, dirty, hedonistic, profitable and dangerous. Not surprisingly, many gay men who were part of that culture felt that Kramer had let them down.From the distance of thirty years we don't really have to engage with the politics any more. Hindsight has called off all bets. But we can take pleasure in Kramer's powers of observation and description, and in particular his eccentric, ironic stylistic mix - two parts Damon Runyon, one part underground porn film, two parts Woody-Allenesque cod psychology, and an occasional shot of Henry James. There are some great lists, some delightfully bogus statistics and citations from scientific articles, and of course lots of poor-taste jokes. Suffice it to say that one of the principal characters is called Randy Dildough, a name "combining ... allusions to the American Big Three: sex, money, and food".
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Excellent. Inspiring novel .
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