A powerful and compassionate debut novel about friendship and how it helps shape us into the people we are
The Intimates is a brilliant and deeply moving first novel about the varieties of romance. Spanning years and continents, beginnings and endings, it is about two gifted and striving people who discover themselves in the reflection they see in each other, and how their affinity anchors them at critical points in their lives.
Maize and Robbie are drawn to each other from the first time they meet in high school. When it becomes obvious that their relationship won't be sexual, they establish a different kind of intimacy: becoming each other's "human diaries." Their passionate Friendship plays out against a backdrop of charged connections: with lovers and would be lovers, family members, teachers, and bosses. For the better part of a decade they're inseparable fellow travelers, but ultimately they must confront the underside of the extreme and complicated closeness that has sustained them since they were teenagers.
Full of indelible characters, engrossing situations, and observations as sharply witty as they are lovely and profound, The Intimates renders the wonders and disappointments of becoming an adult, the thrills and mesmerizing illusions of sex, and the secrets we keep from others and ourselves as we struggle to locate our true character. The Intimates marks the emergence of a remarkable new voice.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|File size:||231 KB|
About the Author
Ralph Sassone has an M.F.A. from Brown University. He has written and edited for a number of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, and Details, and he has taught writing at Brown, Haverford College, and Vassar. He lives in New York City. The Intimates is his first novel.
Ralph Sassone has an M.F.A. from Brown University. He has written and edited for a number of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice Literary Supplement, and Details, and he has taught writing at Brown, Haverford College, and Vassar. He lives in New York City. He is the author of the novel The Intimates.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ralph Sassone's first book reveals an author with a knack for describing the human condition with originality and humor AND, most importantly, for writing a story that is enjoyable to read cover to cover. While the main thrust of the book is the unique relationship between Maize and Robbie, a whole host of interesting minor characters from places ranging from an Italian hotel to a suburban high school to a hyper-aggressive NYC real estate office each have a role to play in telling the story. It all makes for wonderful reading.
I loved this novel! It's a spot on look at a talented, sensitive, under confident young woman, Maize, and her brainiac best friend, Robbie, and both of their misadventures with plenty of others. The story in The Intimates gets told in three parts: first with high school senior Maize going on a college interview where she accidentally causes a humongous mix-up, then with college senior Robbie stalking his divorced father's pretty girlfriend through Rome, and then with adult Maize and Robbie dealing with bad housing, dead-end jobs and even worse love lives until they help one another move forward toward something better by the end. All the way through, Sassone keeps you entertained and turning the pages, Maize and Robbie are great characters and portraits of the others in this novel (Maize nagging mother, Robbie's rich womanizing father, Maize and Robbie's lovers and employers) are terrific. This is one of those books that's very carefully crafted, with magnificent and profound passages, but also delightful to read and never a chore. I also have to give Sassone tons of credit for tackling the sort of familiar subject of straight women and their gay male friends in a fresh and new way. The Intimates is very sophisticated, insightful book about love and friendship, and it's so impressive it's hard to believe it's a first novel. I will definitely read whatever this author writes next.