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Caregiver

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4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  470 ratings  ·  113 reviews
It's 1991, and Dan Calzolaio has just moved to Florida with his lover, Mark, having fled Chicago and Mark's addictions to begin a new life on the Gulf Coast. Volunteering for the Tampa AIDS Alliance is just one part of that new beginning, and that's how Dan meets his new buddy, Adam.
Adam Schmidt is not at all what Dan expected. The guy is an original-witty, wry, and sarc
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Paperback, 210 pages
Published October 24th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published October 23rd 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,269)
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T.A. Webb
It is very hard to separate myself, my life, my friends and my losses from a book like this. I was in my early 20's when the "gay cancer" started to be talked about, and was 30 in 1991, when this book is set. I remember when my best friend since I was in 6th grade tested positive, dropped out of sight and eventually died alone in Marin County, because he was so afraid we would see him wither and die. I remember my roommate, a kind, gentle man with a beautiful tenor who sang in his church choir h ...more
Eden Winters
What can I say? I'm an avid reader who devours massive amounts of books each year, and I've been fortunate enough to have found many to love and cherish. Then I read Caregiver, or rather, I didn't so much read it as experience it, for it touched me in a way that's beyond mere words on a page.

This is a unique love story, for it tells of different kinds of love, and how they shape the protagonist, Dan's life. There is the love for a dying man, Adam, who helps Dan possibly more than Dan helps him.
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Kaje Harper
One of the best things about this book is that, despite the mock protest in the prologue, it does read exactly like a memoir. The plot is complex, the characters imperfect, and the resolution is satisfying despite some bittersweet moments. That prologue put me off slightly (it's hard to hit the right tone when pretending to write from the outside about your own book) but stick with this story - as soon as the narrative actually began I was hooked.

This is an account of Dan, a young man who moved
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Morgana
If you are looking for a light romance you will not find it in this book. What you will find here goes far beyond anything you could ever imagine. The pages of “Caregiver” contain a story of not two but four people, a story so touching and heartbreaking that it will move you to tears. And yet, this story is not what one would call a typical tearjerker. Yes, you will cry reading it, and yes, in the end you will be rewarded for all the anguish you have suffered. This book has a happy ending, a hap ...more
Serena Yates
This book is so much more than a love story, it is about human nature, an era in history that encompassed enormous suffering for AIDS sufferers, and yet, it is also a story about hope. It is fascinating how Rick Reed develops the characters and leads us through their story, using Dan as the focal point, but providing deep insights about the three other men as well. As much as it made me cry in places, I was totally hooked from page one and couldn't put it down.

If you are looking for a story abou
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Cindi
Nothing I say in a review could ever do this book justice. I was already a fan of this author but this book cemented it. I can't remember the last book I read that affected me in the way Caregiver has. I laughed, I cried (a lot) and I fell head over heels in love with all of the characters. This is a story about the pain of loss, real friendship and love. I cannot recommend it enough. This immediately jumped on my all-time favorites list.


Full review can be found at On Top Down Under Book Reviews
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Susan65
So clearly and very easily a 5 star story. I was drawn in immediately and it didn't let go until the last word...and a part of me is still there and will remain there for a long time. That says a lot when an author can get his hooks in you and instead of loosening as you read they just get tighter and tighter. Caregiver is just that kind of book. I loved it but I hated the anquish and grief and now my mind won't let it go.

This is a story that needed to be told and one that everyone should read r
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Lenore
*This review may contain mild spoilers*

This is my first book by Rick R. Reed and, from what I gather going through his other titles (which are mainly of the horror and crime genre), it’s not a typical example of his work.

The story takes place in the year 1991 and it’s about Dan Calzolaio, a man in his early thirties, who moves from the North (Chicago) to the South (Tampa, Florida) with his partner, Mark, in an attempt to make a fresh start in life. It’s not exactly something he wants, he likes h
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Td
Phenomenal. I can't begin to express how deeply I have been affected and touched by this story on so many levels for different reasons. Instant favorite.
Lena Grey
Unconditional love means loving someone just as they are, without expectations. It's an ideal concept, which many people don't understand. Unconditional love only works if it's reciprocated in kind and is the only state in which one can achieve fulfillment. In 'The Caregiver' by Rick Reed, as supportive and loving as Dan is with Mark, and as Sullivan is with Adam, neither are involved in a love relationship which is unconditional. Both men deserve such a relationship and this story is about thei ...more
Elisa Rolle
“I was beautiful, I was young, I was awesome… please just remember me.” While reading Caregiver these are the words in my mind, whispered by Adam this time, but whispered by so many other young men each time I post about one of them. They are survived by their long-time companions… is this companion looking the news to see if someone is remembering them? After the painful first years, when it was obvious to remember them, 10 years, 15 years later, 20 years now later, there is still someone sendi ...more
deirdre
4 stars . . .
Updated 3/2013
If all these months later this book still comes to mind, if the characters created here still make me think . . .this is a great read!!
I am due a reread of this one!

3+ stars
story explored topics including friendship, love, and watching a loved one die of AIDS.
heavy-ish

what i liked . . .
*adam. that character is a panic! he sounds like he lived his life as hell on wheels. it did not always work out for him, he frequently hurt the ones around him (didn't like that part) b
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Paul
I have just finished Caregiver.

I have to say that it was skilfully written and a real page turner.

It was also a challenging read for me (not in a bad way) let me explain. Most of the M/M romance that I have read has been easy. Boy meets Boy, Will they Won't they and none of the difficulties that they face have ever come across as insurmountable, And here you have caregiver set against drug use and the advent of the Aids Crisis, and Adams illness, incarceration and death in a prison hospital.

I l
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David
I finished CAREGIVER last night, the latest release by one of my favorite authors, Rick R. Reed. CAREGIVER is Mr. Reed’s semi-autobiographical account of his own, personal experience as an “AIDS buddy” (volunteer companion), and how this experience changed his life forever. The story depicts not only the protagonist’s experiences as he is getting to know and ultimately care about a very courageous and unique individual who happens to have AIDS, but it also chronicles this man’s experiences with ...more
Librarian Kate
I skimmed over the reviews before I read this, but I missed how many people wrote about how this took them back to personal experiences (for those of us who are old chronologically gifted enough to have been adults through the 80s and 90s). It certainly did for me; I remember when I first heard about a disease that seemed to be affecting gay men, and the first time I realized that someone I had known had died from it.

I especially liked the fact that the characters defied easy labeling. I thought
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Allie
Oh Adam! Poor promiscuous Adam. How I hate what happened to him. I hated how he spent his last few days in jail. Hated that he was riddled with that unforgiving disease. Hated that his life was cut so short. In a different decade things might have turned out so different for the poor young man.

I really enjoyed Rick's writing, once again - different from the other books I have read. But I have not read them all yet :)

I enjoyed that Adam stayed with Dan throughout the story. I loved that Mark was
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Nic
This book is definitely worth reading. It is a well crafted story of what happens after Dan meets Adam. In the story we also meet Mark and Sullivan. All four characters are unique and all are hurting in some way. Life and relationships are not easy.

"It made him think about fate, about timing, and about how people appeared to one another at times when they most needed each other. His mother used to say that people came into our lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime."

It was a beautif
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Mandy*reads obsessively*
How can I write a review of this book? I can't, I can only tell you about the journey this book took me on.
I was in college in FL where this book takes place, at almost the same time this book takes place.
I remember when AIDS was new and unknown, education and information was scarce and understanding even rarer.
But even without AIDS, lovers die, addiction exists, healing happens and life goes on.
There are parts of this book that are so close to what I have experienced that it was very difficult
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D.H. Starr
I loved the book. The characters were well developed, the story line fluid, yet focused, and the emotions visceral and real.

It wasn't a story about whomping sex and it wasn't just for pleasure and light-hearted feel-good reading. It was a serious, heart-warming, thourhgt-provoking tale of what it means to love; loving oneself in ordder to accept the love from someone else.

As someone who has lost someone close to me, I also appreciated the way Rick handled the concept of how people remain with us
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Shirley Frances
This book was excellent. The subject matter of the story was both heartbreaking and exceptional. It was beautiful to see how two guys get together and overcome their grief, their struggles and accept their fate in an environment filled with uncertainty and at a time where everything about their sexuality is questioned.

Every character added depth to the story, every struggle helped the characters develop fully. It was an exceptional read that left me drained emotionally and made me really feel f
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Fossilfriendly
I started off rating this at a three but downgraded it to a two. I'm sorry, but this is not the book for me.

Dan and Mark move to Tampa Florida from Chicago to get away from Mark's dealers and other connection to his addiction. Unfortuntely this does not work out and soon Mark is spiralling out of control again with Dan in deep denial. Meanwhile Dan starts volunteering with an HIV/AIDS support organization as a 'buddy' for Adam, a man dying of of AIDS. Through Adam Dan meets Sullivan, Adam's boy
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Kim
I enjoyed many things about this book, including the fluid and atmospheric language, the fact that it was bittersweet without becoming maudlin, and the interesting characters. I also liked the little bits now and then that subtly remind the reader that the story is set over 20 years ago. The way the main story was framed by prologue and epilogue also worked well. But I think my favorite thing about the book was that it felt real. The situations and emotions were complicated and messy, just like ...more
Yvonne
4.5 StarsMy impression of this book is that this felt very real and honest but the author held back just a little. This may be because parts of this story is based on the author's real life work as a volunteer Aids worker in Florida and Adam's experience mimics those of the friend he met there as a result. The other reason may be because he's also trying to create some kind of romantic story and not have it overwhelmed with sadness. But it cannot help but go through your mind that what happened ...more
Gregory Allen
As I started reading I thought "I've read this book"...and then I realized it was just that I had vividly lived it back in the early 90s. That's how good Rick Reed is. He takes a reader into this world we feel we know, especially those who recall this period in our 'not so long ago' history. I can remember it like yesterday & that's what good story telling is all about. With heart. Compassion. Humor through tears. He mixes these four men together with a title that can assume multiple meaning ...more
Eve
Although this was well written, I couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters other than Adam. The other 2 MCs seemed not too bright and a bit calculating and just basically ungenerous souls. I guess I like to think that love makes us go to extraordinary lengths for those we love, whereas in this book love just makes the MCs go a teeny bit further than friendship would...
R.B.
Wonderful story. Heartbreaking and heart-warming nevertheless. Story that made me smile while tears run down my face.

Thank you.
Ery
Read it. Loved it! Added it as a fav.
Erik Orrantia
Slight Spoiler Alert!

As it says in the end of the book, "love stories cannot be confined to formulas." True enough--many romances are cliché. Still, I find it hard to call this exactly a romance. A wedge of life in the early 90's, it's a flashback to the beginning of the AIDS crisis when KP and terrible infections were the expected finale of every AIDS victim. Reed brought the bitter truth of the past back in a lively, painful fashion.

He also dealt with the heartbreak of drug addiction and the d
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Hans Hirschi
I recently read the first of three books on the way Sweden handled the AIDS crisis back in 1991, written by Jonas Gardell, amazing author and comedian.

Reading Rick's book about a this topic brought me back to some of that, yet different. Rick avoided (for whatever reason) all of the horrors of being bereft the chance of a funeral (Sullivan) as parents claimed their dead sons. I still get furious at the very thought that so many long-time partners were robbed of that final chance to say good bye.
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Chris Beatty
I loved this book. This is only my second book by author Reed, but both books have really resonated with me and I carry a bit of Orientation with me constantly. The same is true here. Caregiver has just enough detail to feel genuine and not so much as to bore. It moves at a genuine pace which adds to its readability and,... well, I miss the characters already!!

I only wish I could have crafted the words in emotionally charged moments as the characters in Caregiver did. I heard the voices too, and
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Romance Readers R...: September M/M Buddy Read : Caregiver 41 173 Oct 02, 2012 05:30PM  
Rick Reed 3 19 Nov 13, 2011 06:21AM  
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5965
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The ...more
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