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Preview — Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley
Alternatives to Sex
Stephen McCauley's new novel is a moving and hilarious chronicle of life in post-traumatic, morally ambiguous America wh ...more
That's what I was after.
And, while this book is certainly light, it was not the engrossing read I was hoping for. In fact, it seems a bit inept.
The writer is clearly fond of his own character ideas, but he should weed them out ... then flesh them out. Far, far too many characters, most of them two-dimensional exaggerations of what an actual person might be, populate this meandering and aimless novel. I'm not sure there was a point ... ? There are a lot of scenes with upper-mi ...more
Mostly it's about a man that wants to change, but isn't sure why or how, and through a friendship/real estate relationship with a married couple it seems he might come to some catharsis at some point.
I'm already half-way through so it might s ...more
Though I did find the writing at-times clever, smart and funny, I never seemed to connect with the characters. It was almost as if there's was too much to their backstory that I didn't know, and didn't come to realize.
I would have liked to have known more about Edward and his personality. William's character could have done a better job at revealing these things...
And since part of ...more
Set in the aftermath of 9/11, the main character William Collins a 44 year old Gay man who currently works in Real Estate, has a cleaning obsession and no steady relationship starts worrying about his life. The past year of his life has consisted of any number of meaningless sex ...more
I liked this book much better! It has no chapters, only titled section headings, which gives it a ...more
Yeah, but the liveliness is also at the heart of the problem with this novel: It doesn't, until the final scene, take ...more
Stephen McCauley, author of books including The Object of My Affection (1987), has written perhaps his best novel to date. A mix of satire, moral ambiguity, and insight into human foibles, Alternative to Sex also contains raw nakedness as William searches for meaning in his life. William's characterization as a softhearted, sharp-witted, and neurotic gay man__and his touchingly chaste relationship with Edward__rang true with critics, as did the "loony and delicious" cast of secondary characters...more
Here's a snippet:
"Someone that manipulative and sick can string you on for years."
"I prefer to think of her along the lines of eccentric."
"No, no. She crossed that line long ago."
Enjoyable, but maybe could have been shorter or boasted a better plot.
I've finished it but could have put it down and it would have made no differences. A gay character that did not bring anything to the story except to reinforce the gay stereotype ... nothing better but clean ... an unhappy women that drinks too much ... déjà vu ...