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Loving Women

Loving Women

4.7 4
by Pete Hamill

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A novel of the Fifties.  Michael Devlin is going through his third divorce and trying to go back to a time when his life was simpler and he was understood.


A novel of the Fifties.  Michael Devlin is going through his third divorce and trying to go back to a time when his life was simpler and he was understood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Although it covers well-worn ground--a 17-year-old sailor's passage to manhood in the 1950s--veteran journalist Hamill's latest novel is told with such emotional urgency and pictorial vividness that it has the flavor of a well-liked old story rediscovered (in fact, it shares a good deal of atmosphere and incident with Neil Simon's Biloxi Blues ). Brooklyn-born Irish Catholic Michael Devlin (who narrates from middle age, heading toward his third divorce) arrives at his Navy base in Pensacola, Fla., with ambitions to become a cartoonist, lose his virginity and solve some of the mysteries of adult life. Lessons are imparted by a brutish master-at-arms, an ineffably hip black musician, and a cynical, smart fellow sailor who is a closet homosexual. Most important in his life is Eden Santana, a kind, emotionally bruised older woman with whom Michael falls hopelessly in love. Although Hamill's characters all have a ring of familiarity, and he insists too firmly on giving every one of them a sad secret and a predictable confessional monologue, he invests real passion, narrative energy and fondly remembered detail in this novel, and it pays off. BOMC alternate. (Mar.)
Library Journal
For Michael Devlin, a middle-aged photographer working on his third divorce, life has never been as good as it was in 1953, the year he joined the Navy, left Brooklyn for the first time, and met the only woman who ever understood him, the mysterious Eden Santana. Now, driving his sports car by the naval base in Pensacola, Florida, Devlin tries to recapture a time when his world view derived entirely from Steve Canyon and Buz Sawyer comic strips. Reexamining simplistic Cold War thinking as a Steve Canyon nightmare is a great fictional premise, and had Hamill pursued it, much of the two-dimensional characterization in this novel might have been justified. As it stands, however, the book is just another maudlin Fifties memoir in which self-realization is synonymous with great sex. Only fans of that overworked genre will enjoy it.-- Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
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Random House
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2 MB

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Meet the Author

Brief Biography

New York, New York, and Cuernavaca, Mexico
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Brooklyn, New York
Mexico City College, 1956-1957; Pratt Institute

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Loving Women 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I'm a woman, and this story is most definitely about men, and from the perspective of a young man, I greatly enjoyed reading it. The fact that most of it is set in the mid 50's actually made it much more enjoyable, for the education of what life in that decade was like. The book tackles self-discovery and personal growth, romantic love, racial relations, homosexuality (in the world of the military), and many other themes from the era. It was funny, sad, poignant, all at the same time. I had a hard time putting it down, and I'll now search out any other novels by this author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at the library and was not able to complete it. It took a while to get it again, but I remembered exactly where I left off a couple of months before, and was able to get right into the story without backtracking. It is a memorable story that shows how racial and gay tensions existed in 1953, and this young man's journey of learning. The intricacies of this learning through experience is one that we can all relate to in one way or another. Pete Hamill is now one of my absolute 'must read' authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book of Pete Hamill's....he really makes Manhattan come alive for me....so interesting to read of events of my lifetime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago