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Faggots

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  2,013 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
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.
ebook, 384 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published November 17th 1978)
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Paul Bryant
I wonder why I never reviewed Faggots before? Oh, that's right, I was scared to! Because if I recommend it very strongly, which I would very much like to do, and people here actually give it a go, I might end up with swathes of people defriending me on the spot and writing rude comments on my profile. So : don't read this if you have a nervous disposition. Please! Because Larry Kramer will discombobulate your psychosexual equilibrium. He will make you boggle, along the lines of do guys really do ...more
Jason
Aug 05, 2010 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
This book presents a satire of 1970s gay life. Through its overly complicated writing style, confusingly large cast of characters, and melodramatic and unrealistic dialog, it boils down to one impotent criticism: gay men make poor life decisions because they have daddy issues.

The book is poor quality literature even if your view of books falls into the Wilde/Nabokov school that what determines the quality of the book is the quality of the writing and not the content of its message. "Message" asi
...more
mark monday
Jul 11, 2009 mark monday rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queertime
larry kramer sure had problems with his fellow queers! a depressing and desperately unfunny read, written by someone who needed to let the love in a little. but hey, he went on to found act-up, so maybe this was a useful exorcism of sorts.
Gerhard
Sep 06, 2015 Gerhard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
Larry Kramer’s eponymous 1978 novel is one whose reputation precedes it. Apparently condemned upon its publication due to its singular (and single-minded) focus on drugs-and-fucking in the New York gay scene in the 1970s, the truth is always both more. And less.

Reading the book today, especially given the international brouhaha over gay marriage, and the manifestation of strange forms of agit-prop like the Kim Davis case in the US, what I found most surprising about Faggots is how unpolitical it
...more
Keith
Jun 02, 2009 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far this book as been true to form on what transpires in the gay community. Whether its was back in the 70's or present day. We have all experienced or been privy to the ramped drugs scene at all the clubs as well as those curcuit parties. What I still to this day don't understand is when gay men who spend hours and hours in the gym to develop the supposed perfect body to attact only the same type of guy (if they are lucky). But then some of those same men that only work on their outer-shells ...more
Konrad
Jun 08, 2013 Konrad rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I was actually going to like Faggots. The mythos behind the book is irresistible for a start: shrewd lone wolf foresees impending destruction of his community and writes fiery polemic as a clarion call to action, only to be cruelly shunned by hedonists unwilling for the good times to end. Who doesn't want to stand alongside Kramer, maligned and outcast, screaming his famous line - 'We're fucking ourselves to death!' - into the forthcoming abyss?

Having read it, however, I now understand
...more
Dusty Myers
Dec 15, 2008 Dusty Myers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Corinne  E. Blackmer
Oct 12, 2011 Corinne E. Blackmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pilar Stewart
Shelves: contemporary, gay, fiction
Faggots by Larry Kramer
However lost on critics, not to mention members of the gay establishment at the time, "Faggots" is a brilliant Mepinnean satire that takes as the object of its satire the intellectual conceit of gay sexual liberation, and the notion that gay culture would occupy a leadership position in showing America how to overcome its sexual prudery and commitment to values such as fidelity, monogamy, and true love. In fact, Kramer explores a subculture is which nothing is taboo except for the concept of mo
...more
Nathan
Jan 26, 2016 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
As I read Faggots, I imagined each character at some point laying in a chaise lounge and talking about their awful childhoods. And I imagined Larry Kramer sitting right beside them with a little notepad where he wrote in big letters and underlined multiple times one of two diagnoses: "mommy issues" or "daddy issues". This is a book filled with outdated psychoanalysis and characters straight out of Freud with mothers straight out of Roth. This is the second least erotic book about sex I've ever r ...more
Caitlin
Apr 30, 2009 Caitlin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
So, I couldn't keep an interest for more than 30 or so pages. I decided to read this book because Randy Shilts praised Larry Kramer as a revolutionary gay (and later AIDS) activist who broke through all of these boundaries and really garnered a lot of heat from all angles with the publication of this work of fiction.

However, I was ultimately disappointed. The writing was not entirely easy to follow, the prose was poorly written, and the characters were either flat or just plain un-memorable.

Perh
...more
Brian
Sep 28, 2007 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Typical Larry Kramer. Bring your own iconic "cachet" to the table, mix in plenty of defiant f-you attitude, and adopt the posture of creating "a brutally frank document of a unique time and circumstance" and presto, you are free to verbally fetishize all the astounding self-indulgence and destruction of your past, and have it called literature.

Get off the pedestal you put yourself on Larry, and remove your homemade hero medals. You're not a rebel. You're a grouchy old bipedal hard-on with a good
...more
João
Mar 13, 2017 João rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, foreign-fiction
Na "capital homossexual do mundo" (Nova Iorque) dos loucos anos pré-SIDA, seja nos bairros gay de Greenwich, em Washington Sq ou Christopher Street, numa das saunas gay da cidade, na inauguração da super-discoteca gay mais incrível de sempre ou no paraíso homossexual à beira-mar que era Fire Island, ninguém se importa com nada que não seja o prazer físico e sensual, sexo desenfreado, em grupo, anónimo, leather, s-m, fisting, muito... mas Fred compreende que procura apenas amor!
Talvez o livro mai
...more
Aitziber
Dec 21, 2013 Aitziber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can keep track of characters better than me.
Faggots was a difficult read that really shouldn't have taken me three months to complete. Like many others on Goodreads, I came to this book by way of Randy Shilts' The Band Played On.

It's hard to pinpoint what in this book is satire, and what is accurate portrayal. The man Dinky was based on, and Larry Kramer's now husband, said Faggots was a complete assault on his privacy, with Kramer digging trash out of his wastebasket, like Fred does to Dinky at one point. Certainly, the almost compulsor
...more
Jason Keller
Jul 15, 2009 Jason Keller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, glbtq
"Yes, sex and love were different items when he wanted them in one, and yes, having so much sex made having love impossible, and yes, sadism was only a way to keep people away from us and masochism only a way to clutch them close, and yes, we are sadists with some guys and masochists with other guys and sometimes both with both, and yes, we're all out of the closet but we're still in the ghetto and all I see is guys hurting each other and themselves. But how to get out! And yes, the world is giv ...more
Eric Rickert
Jun 29, 2014 Eric Rickert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
The sloppiest masterpiece I've ever read, which (maybe) describes a lot of homosexuals I've encountered. FAGGOTS is scattershot, lyrical, multifaceted, hilarious, eternally quotable, and entirely mesmerizing. It's almost staggering in scope and touch. To call it a landmark book is to cheapen it to discount shelves across the world.

Certain storylines reach too far, but the last twelve pages summarize a zeitgeist and a city in an era that was soon eclipsed by the HIV/AIDS panic. The book is weirdl
...more
Jesse
Jul 28, 2010 Jesse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Simultaneously filthy and a lot of fun. As a kind of loving and angry document of what would turn out to be the last days of the pre-AIDS/pre-Ed Koch NYC bathhouse/Fire-Island gay scene, the book works very well, but only if you're willing to take Kramer's criticisms as his own. Obviously a lot of people were really pissed off about the book when it came out and I can see why they might have been, but it's not my place to side for or against. The book is consistently well-written (with plenty of ...more
Joe Cole
Nov 28, 2013 Joe Cole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It isn't very well written. Sentence fragments should be consumed like trans fats, sparingly if at all. Larry Kramer, however fills this book with nothing but sentence fragments and run-on sentences. Not only that, but Kramer utilizes random capitalization in the middle of sentences and does not know the difference between when to use a versus an. Add that on to the fact that the myriad of characters in combination with a confusing plot leads to a very poorly written novel. Overall, I would not ...more
Larry
Sep 14, 2007 Larry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: open minded gays
I think that this was a very good book that was overlooked by the gay community because it was written so intensly and passionately that the community didnt want the world to percieve us this way. I think that it was very much this way at the time it was written esp in NYC. Larry Kramer is an activist/aids survivor and politician. People either really like him or hate him. I like him and think that he has many sides that people dont always see. A lot of reasons that I like him can be found in hi ...more
Francisco Márquez
I'm not sure whether this book was meant to make me laugh, or whether it was meant to make me sad? It largely depends on the reader of course, but the fact that it kept me guessing became what I believe is to be the evidence of it's honesty. To review this book is difficult because on the one hand, it possibly is the rawest piece of literature I have read in a very long time; as Library Journal said on the book, "Faggots is the Uncle Tom's Cabin for homosexual men whose worst oppression is their ...more
Broodingferret
Parts of this book bothered me, but it wouldn't be satire if it didn't. I usually have an ambivalent feeling towards most satire, as satire is basically the passive-aggressive friend of literature, like that person everyone knew in high school who would needle people relentlessly and would then insist "it was just a joke-don't get so defensive" when someone finally snapped and told them to stop. This book is Kramer's satirical take on the club/bath house/Fire Island gay New York scene of the 70s ...more
Mel Bossa
Sep 07, 2011 Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny. Shocking. Sad. A cry in the dark.
Fred Lemish is the perfect narrator to me. Neurotic, faulted, well-meaning, sentimental, awkward, determined, analytic, and goodhearted, he took me on quite a ride through the Summer of His Life.

The characters are many and it takes a bit of reading to figure out who's who, but with names like Dinky, and Dom Dom, and Winnie, and Rolla, and Boo Boo...Well, enough said. I think I enjoyed The Winston Man the most, him and Abe, the poor, clueless Abe.
There's
...more
Katrina E.
Jul 21, 2014 Katrina E. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this just browsing the stacks at UIUC, and I have to say, it's been a long time since a book held my attention and interest in the way this one did. For now, it's a favorite.

The whole thing feels like a stream of consciousness, gender-queer, introspective and extro-sexual gulp of an imagined life of the LGBT*QIA community. At some points, it's so bizarre and edgy that it almost sounds like satire, but I think that's the best part: the author drags you to a threshing floor and says, "Lis
...more
John
Apr 11, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay
For exactly 13,500 days — from June 26, 1944 (when the U.S. Army began standardizing treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea with penicillin) to June 5, 1981 (when the Center for Disease Control published a report on a disease that would later be called AIDS) — Americans could more or less have sex with one another indiscriminately without the imminent fear of death. Kramer’s irreverently named book “Faggots” presciently detailed how the days of living never-ending sexual fantasies helped engender t ...more
Robert Patrick
This is a re-read for me, after having read it when it was first published. What's not to like about the man who wrote the screenplay for "Women in Love", was co-founder of GMHC, etc. & so forth? Well, I'll tell you: it's a bit labored, but that may just be the times (then and now) and not the actual writing. I remember riding the Halsted St. bus in Chicago, coming up from Pilsen to the north side proudly reading "Faggots" for all the world to see...it seemed political at the time. Is it rel ...more
Gina
Mar 17, 2015 Gina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I'm having trouble believing in the accuracy of this as a portrait of the New York gay scene, even as in a heightened and dramatized version of a satire. It's jusy way too ridiculous and difficult to follow the many named characters (of whom only the author stand in of Fred seems in at any time reasonable). It was hard to follow and how over the top everything was flattened the drama to an emotionless nothing. That's the point Kramer's trying to make about all the sex, but it was so boring to re ...more
Alex
Dec 09, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Impressive, challenging, audacious, mercilessly funny.
Adam Dunn
Aug 25, 2014 Adam Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
So much to say on this book! It’s never gone out of print and is one of the most widely read gay books of all time, which to me is remarkable. I know about two gay men who could read and finish this book. I know many more who should but the graphic sex, perhaps the most graphic in any book I’ve ever read, and the drug use would turn a lot off.
From the introduction:
“The purpose of satire… offers us oddly entertaining, generally exaggerated copies of foolish or evil behaviour in order to provoke o
...more
Paul
Feb 27, 2017 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Tales Of The City had been written by sour-eyed Evelyn Waugh, illustrated by Hogarth, mixed up with Portnoy's Complaint and redrafted by the mannered Ronald Firbank ...... a novel where EXCESS is its theme, and its strength (imaginative, provocative, so full of the hedonistic energy of the period ) and weakness (if you say it once, say it over and over again, sometimes less is more telling) ..... finally an elegy for a time quite like no other.
Colin Fyfe
Nov 17, 2016 Colin Fyfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Faggots" was referenced numerous times " in the band played on", hence what caused me to read it. Kramer's satire is an interesting display of gay live during the heigh of 70's sexual liberation. Written in free prose, influences from the beat generation and 3rd person observational perspective, Kramer highlightes the ghettoization of gay men, the yearning for love beyond sex , and the truth of the time frame. "faggots" is bittersweet it revealing the truth of the four D's of "dick, dish, drugs ...more
Nate
Feb 05, 2017 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pretty easy to see why this was controversial among release, thoroughly ridiculous and pretty funny at times if a bit disjointed
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Larry Kramer (born June 25, 1935) is an American playwright, author, public health advocate and gay rights activist. He was nominated for an Academy Award, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and was twice a recipient of an Obie Award. In response to the AIDS crisis he founded Gay Men's Health Crisis, which became the largest organization of its kind in the world. He wrote The Normal Heart, the ...more
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“There will always be enemies. Time to stop being your own.” 11 likes
“Of the 2,639,857 faggots in the New York city area, 2,639,857 think primarily with their cocks.
You didn't know that the cock was a thinking organ?
Well, by this time, you should know that it is.”
7 likes
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