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3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  225 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A candid novel about male sexuality and pornography, this is the story of one man's obsession with two different women and the formative childhood experience which defined his sexuality.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Riverhead Trade (first published 1997)
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God, so. What to say about a novel that left me emotionally exhausted every time I picked it up and desperately wanting to read just five more paragraphs every time I reluctantly put it down?

It's a love story, but not in the traditional sense. Love of another. Love of the self. Love of vices (namely pornography, prostitutes and booze, with some drugs and masturbation thrown in for the Yatzee). Love of one's own misery. Love of the past. Love of what could have been. Love of hope that hasn't been
Jan 30, 2016 Ataegina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating read for me, but part of that fascination is something that the author probably couldn't have intended or even foreseen originally - that is, our very much changed relationship with pornography and how it compares to Gabriel's feelings about it. The novel is set in the late eighties or early nineties, I'm guessing, a time before internet was ubiquitous and easily accessible. The times changed, internet became ubiquitous and easily accessible, and can you guess what else di ...more
Nick Davies
Aug 11, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This deserves five stars, despite not being perfect, for the dark powerfulness of the story. The novel is narrated by Gabriel, a young man apparently fucked up by lost love and his life's lust. A little like a darker 'High Fidelity', his introspection on past formative relationships (told with honesty, wit and a tantalising lack of linearity) takes us into the mind of a marginalised man, but a man with aspects true of most men. It's explicit rather than plainly erotic, sensual in a sensitive and ...more
John Gustafson
Apr 18, 2014 John Gustafson rated it really liked it
The first novel from Glen Duncan, whose Last Werewolf series integrates an uncharacteristically adult sexuality into the burgeoning subgenre of supernatural romance. It's good to see that from the beginning, Duncan was willing to frankly grapple with uncomfortable subject matter in order to explore some of the more unsavory human desires, and able to write about sexuality without being pornographic or gratuitously titillating. Hope focuses well in particular on the after-effects of emotionally r ...more
Nov 23, 2008 Dawn rated it it was amazing
I stumbled across this book at a dollar store, looking for something to read on my lunch break at work. From the first page, I was hooked -- not only on this story, but on Glen Duncan as an author. Every once in a while, when I start thinking to myself, "I could write novels..." I pick up one of Duncan's books and am convinced that I could never manage a feat like that. His stories break my heart, but I read them over and over again.

And, thanks to I, Lucifer, he introduced me to The Real Tuesda
Oct 29, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Goodness, this is intense. Nasty, forcing the sometimes unwilling reader to listen to things she'd rather not hear about, told by a character for whom I felt less than fifty per cent liking for.
But so strong the writing, so able, as with 'Love Remains' (which I liked much better) to jolt me into remembering, realising, sometimes for the first time, things, feelings, awarenesses I had forgotten. And so full of tiny insights into the reality of Life, that it would be impossible to mark it down be
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Gabriel Jones could be your boyfriend, your husband, or even yourself--he's an intelligent, charming, poetry-loving university graduate; he believes in love; he's capable of strong friendships--and he's been seeing a gorgeous high-priced call girl who picked him up in a London caf. He's also addicted to pornography. In fact, it's his attraction to pornography that causes the collapse of his relationship with the one woman he has ever loved.

Hope is a novel in the tradition of Philip Roth's Portno
May 18, 2009 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
This book was a struggle - not because of the subject matter but because of the way it was written: with smaller font, few chapters, and complex sentences/descriptions. Maybe it wasn't the best book to read while in an airport and on a plane.

The ending I could see coming a mile away. Points off for obviousness.

I found myself, once I finished the last chapter, wondering what the point of the book was. He didn't really stop looking at porn, but it wasn't really an issue he dwelt on in his present
Feb 22, 2008 Screamingbutterfly rated it it was ok
Picked this one up randomly from the bookstore one day. While Duncan can really write some amazing paragraphs, the character philosophizes way too much (and whines a lot too.) The plot was too disjointed. 100 pages or more could have easily been cut from this book to make it better. After reading this, I haven't read another Duncan book again and probably won't anytime in the future.
Dec 13, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it
I agonized for the character...I kept reading. It made me depressed, but very well written.
Paul Turner
Feb 23, 2013 Paul Turner rated it it was amazing
My favourite book of all time ---- such a shame it's out of print
Sep 12, 2011 Paula marked it as to-read
Only on page 7 so far. Got hooked on page 2 with this: "They travel through the city unopposed by contingency, because they have the universal contingency antidote: money. Their days don't go wrong, hings don't fuck up, their pockets don't sag with change."

My roommate left it on the table for me as a hint and said this is the first book he's ever read that he wanted to take a highlighter to & he does not do that.

Let someone borrow it before I finished ... it hasn't come back yet. :(
Jan 05, 2013 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Piechocinski
Aug 27, 2012 Matt Piechocinski rated it liked it
I found this book to be really frustrating, but ultimately pretty rewarding if you can stick through the "cheer up emo kid" of the protagonist. It's like a cross between Nick Hornby and Chuck Palahniuk. The only thing that I'm still kinda confused about is the whole Mr. Mink subplot, which I think was Katherine's way of working out her prostituting with the psychological damage her father had done to her.
Aug 07, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I have to say, after a dubious start, this book soon developed into one of the best reads I've had in a long time.

The plot was gripping and not repetitive at all, which it easily could have been. The book crafts a brutally honest insight into human nature and experience which comes through on every page.
Oct 22, 2013 Deborah marked it as to-read
My current state of mind won't allow me to digest what I am reading. I tried but got stuck. However I know GD is brill so will retry later on. I will not abandon this one.
Nov 26, 2008 Godzilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quirky, 2008
A dark, brooding book, which isn't reall like anything else I have ever read. I saw elements of myself in the book, which I expect most men will...
Jan 25, 2012 Liz rated it liked it
nothing spectacular, but I was in fact surprised by the surprise ending, so that's something.
RK Byers
Jul 11, 2009 RK Byers rated it it was amazing
perhaps the ultimate "guy" book. every dude will understand.
Dec 16, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing
Painful. Exquisite. Beautifully written. Disturbing.
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Aka Saul Black.

Glen Duncan is a British author born in 1965 in Bolton, Lancashire, England to an Anglo-Indian family. He studied philosophy and literature at the universities of Lancaster and Exeter. In 1990 Duncan moved to London, where he worked as a bookseller for four years, writing in his spare time. In 1994 he visited India with his father (part roots odyssey, part research for a later work,
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