Full Circle

Full Circle

by Michael Thomas Ford
4.2 15

Hardcover

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Overview

Full Circle by Michael Thomas Ford

History professor Ned Brummel is living happily with his partner of twelve years in small-town Maine when he receives a phone call from his estranged friend—Jack—telling him that another friend—Andy—is very ill and possibly near death. As Ned boards a plane to Chicago on his way to his friend's bedside, he embarks on another journey into memory, examining the major events and small moments that have shaped his world and his relationships with these two very different, very important men.

Growing up together through the restrictive 1950's and confusing '60's, Jackson "Jack" Grace and Ned Brummel took solace in their love for each other. But once they arrive at college in 1969 and meet handsome farm boy Andy Kowalski, everything changes. Despite Andy's apparent heterosexuality, both Jack and Ned fall hard for him, straining their close friendship. Soon, the three men will become involved in a series of intense liaisons and bitter betrayals, coming together and flying apart, as they alternately hurt, love, shape, and heal one another over the course of years. From the heady, drug- and sex-fueled days of San Francisco in the wild seventies to the haunting spectre of AIDS in the eighties and the righteous activism of the nineties, their relationship transforms and grows, reflecting the changes going on around them. Now, together again in the most crucial and intimate of settings, Ned, Jack, and Andy have another chance to confront the damage of the past and embrace the bonds of friendship and love that have stood the test of time.

"Impactful. . .real. . .Ford's beautiful story makes it all seem possible and believable. . .these are rich characters, heartfelt descriptions and real-life happenings that resonate. . .allow yourself to get lost in this story." —The Lambda Book Report

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758210579
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 06/01/2006
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.22(h) x 1.45(d)

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Full Circle 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
GayMindCandyLover More than 1 year ago
While most Gay Authors leave something to desire in there depiction of the overall gay experience, Ford always manages to hit the nail right on the head. Once you read this book, you will want to check out other titles by Ford, Including: Changing Tides, Last Summer, and his soon to be released new title. Ford is a master of expressing the true feelings and emotions that any gay and lesbian could have. The reader is left with the feeling that he or she knows the characters intimately, and you begin to care about them as if they are you friends. You will find this to be a great read, a quick one, but Mind candy is always good! I also recommend My Big Fat Queer Life! It's like having a dialogue with Ford himself. I found it to be irreverent, hysterical, and an intimate look at queer life through the eyes of the author, Michael Thomas Ford! Happy Reading Everyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The main characters of Ned, Jack & Andy are very compelling. Ned and Jack are friends from birth things get complicated as they reach college at the start of the draft for the Vietnam Conflict. These interactions are all aces. We are introduced to Andy at college and get to see some Vietnam reality...also all aces. Ned returns to 70's San Francisco...more good 'of the moment.' But here is where it stalled for me...PLEASE DON'T GET ME WRONG...I was physically incapable of putting this book down. But the 80's & 90's were a boar, Ford chronicles some of the fear, does a nice job on the reality of the 80's but doesn't use the characters to their fullest...the story seemed to get drawn out at that point and I just wanted Ned and Jack back. Their story is where it started and I needed more Ned and Jack to feel satisfied. Is it a good read...oh yeah. It is insightful of gay life of 60's-90's and shows a slice of 'the moment' to be gay and on the scene. Oh, something need to mention...I loved about this is that there were some sex scenes...but only as graphic as necessary, always appropriate to the story...not gratuitous sex...I just hate to see gay fiction turned into another quick short story book of porn...leave it to the porn publishers. Thank you Michael Thomas Ford, I enjoyed this read Greg L.
Guest More than 1 year ago
FULL CIRCLE is one of those books that satisfies on many levels. First, it is a novel about the struggles facing gay men from childhood to advanced age in a manner that reads more like a non-biased fiction story than most gay novels. Second, author Michael Thomas Ford writes well, allowing his complex story to unfold in elegant prose that takes as much time embracing the beauty of living as it does in depicting the sour notes of existing. And third, it serves as a fine historical survey of life in the US from the 1960s through the end of the century - no mean feat in itself, but when woven so carefully with the intertwining lives of the three main characters it becomes a scrapbook of memories both good and bad of the times in which we have lived.The plot is well outlined but other reviewers: suffice it to say it is the story of two close friends - Ned and Jack - whose childhood needs and differences bond them in a union that accompanies them through the coming out phase in college, through the bliss of a relationship, through the introduction of a third 'straight' young college man Andy who focuses his life on living at the expense of others but eventually becomes their communal lover, and accompanies the new triad through the horrors of Vietnam, of life in San Francisco and the era of drugs and free sex, of AIDS, of loss of loved ones, of impaired relationships, of the sociopolitical climate that resulted in the Act Up phase, through the fears and problems of the 1990s. It is the resilience of this friendship that carries the book through all of its avenues of the experiences that life challenges us all to survive or succumb. If there is a flaw in this long novel it is the author's tendency for name dropping, as though mentioning Bernadette Peters and Ileana Cotrubas etc will lend credence to the story: for this reader that is unnecessary information flaunting. A minor point this, but one that stops the eye from the otherwise generously warm and fascinating flow of a story very much worth telling. Reading FULL CIRCLE does indeed drive the reader to a hunger for reading the author's other books, and that is always a solid marker for evaluating a book. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rarely in today¿s mass-market paperback world does a reader have an opportunity to savor the depth and breadth of a novel like Michael Thomas Ford¿s ¿Full Circle¿. Epic in scope while intimate in story, ¿Full Circle¿ chronicles nearly six decades in the lives of two longtime friends and sometimes lovers and the enigmatic third wheel who becomes a driving force in their lives. Ned Brummel and Jack Grace are inseparable boyhood friends growing up in a 1950¿s middle-class Philadelphia suburb. As they enter adolescence, they add sexual exploration to the usual teenage pastimes of scouting, star gazing, and comic books and seal a seemingly impenetrable bond. As the boys morph into men and enter their formidable college years, they meet the free-spirited and sexually ambiguous Andy Kowalski. With the shadow of the Vietnam War looming, Andy becomes the catalyst for bittersweet lessons in loyalty, betrayal, expectations, sexual identity, and the lasting bonds of love and friendship. The book follows the three friends through the ensuing thirty years, as they encounter an eclectic and thoroughly believable cast of secondary characters who crisscross the various intersections of their lives. Ford, the author of the immeasurably pleasurable ¿Last Summer¿ and ¿Looking For It¿, has hit a creative stride with ¿Full Circle¿ and reaches a career highpoint in what those earlier novels promised to be an enduring literary career. ¿Full Circle¿ is a marvelous interweaving of page-turning fiction and gay history, where a memorable cast of characters weave in and out of a sweeping tapestry of imagined personal events set against an epic historical canvas. Indeed, history is at the core of ¿Full Circle¿, both in narrative and theme. Readers are treated to fascinating backdrops of war-torn Vietnam, San Francisco¿s golden-age of sexual liberation, and AIDS-ravaged New York while celebrating the lives of the characters who live, love, and die amidst the history unfolding all around them. Ford has an uncanny talent for creating moments of candid intimacy, as in the heartbreakingly poignant scene where Ned¿s homosexuality is finally acknowledged by his mother. The poignancy of the novel is balanced with tongue-in-cheek nods to pop culture that harken back to Ford¿s earlier writings, and it is a pure joy to watch the characters marvel at the shoulder-padded delight of ¿Dynasty¿ or discover a serialized newspaper column about an unconventional group of San Franciscans written by a guy named Maupin. But at the heart of Ford¿s skillful blend of sentimentality, history, and humor is the idea of community and how gay men, in particular, come to rely on the steadfastness of that kinship with others that stretches beyond biological families. With ¿Full Circle¿, Ford graduates from the ubiquitous ¿beach read¿ literary category to the more meritorious ¿rainy weekend read¿. And, at the end of this accomplished novel, readers will undoubtedly pray for more rain.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
a very heartwarming realistic story. I am glad that I did not grow up in the 50's or 60's