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What Love Means to You People
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What Love Means to You People

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A powerful debut about a young man whose denial of his past nearly destroys the new life he seeks

Shaking off his hellish adolescence in a nowhere Nebraska town (and leaving a beloved younger sister to fend for herself in the same hostile environment), Seth McKenna escapes to make a new reality for himself as a struggling artist in Manhattan. When he falls hard for Jim Glas
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2006)
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Aug 18, 2007 Brynhild rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who isn't homophobic
There are many moments I remember fondly from this book - each of the characters have made mistakes in their lives, and it isn't too long before the secrets they've been hiding and the miscommunications that have been festering come to a head. They each have a deep flaw that they have to overcome - Jim must process, deal, and over come the repercussions of his last lover's death, Seth has his own scarring emotional trauma that he's only ever told one other person about (but that is revealed slow ...more
Lichen Craig
This book has a good story, and some really beautiful passages in the writing. That is the good stuff.

On the other hand, it has many sentences that are so badly constructed that I found it a headache to read. I found one sentence with - count them - eight commas. It was also very often confusing to figure out who the speaker was in a dialog.

But the biggest frustration was with the lack of research into small town life and people, and the utter bias against small midwestern life. This author's a
Fábio Ventura
Um livro que me surpreendeu a todos os níveis, especialmente por ser algo desconhecido. É uma história bastante dramática e emocionante com duas das personagens mais profundas que ja tive o prazer de conhecer. A autora tem uma linguagem fresca e directa que torna a leitura deste livro num vício. Recomendo a todos os amantes de romances não convencionais.
Blake Fraina
I thoroughly enjoyed this wholly adult love story about two very different, very damaged men set against the backdrop of contemporary New York City. Compared to so many modern love stories (gay or straight), this novel strikes me as very realistic and grown up. Too often writers become so enamoured of their characters that they tend to shy away from showing them as whole people with human imperfections and/or they seem to graft slapdash, quickie happy endings onto otherwise complicated, difficul ...more
I truly wish the author had resisted the urge to insert violence and a 'realistic' ending to this otherwise charming and touching romance. Seth is a twenty-three year old Cooper Union fine arts graduate student hoping to refine his skill as a painter. Jim is a forty-two year old advertising executive cruising through life on empty after the unexpected death of his life partner, which also dashed his hopes of becoming a father. The two meet on a photo shoot and have an instantaneous spark. Compli ...more
Karl Marx S.T.
Leaving his childhood town wasn’t that easy for Seth McKenna. For with this decision, he also had to leave his younger sister together with their fragile mother in the hands of his abusive and violent stepfather. Seth’s escapes to make a new life for himself manages to be fruitful and productive even just a struggling artist in Manhattan. Then a handsome older man, Jim Glaser, starts to come in Seth’s way and is greatly astonished to found in Seth the greatest love of his life. Surprised at the ...more
As a teenager Seth escapes his down at heals small town home in Nebraska and makes for New York. He leaves behind his disinterested mother, an abusive stepfather and his younger sister; and a few skeletons too, including an unhappy schooling as a spotty, slouching lad where everyone suspected he was gay, and a traumatic and very distressing gang rape at the hands of his stepfather and his cronies which alone makes very disturbing reading.

In New York, now his true self, he has matured into a han
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beautifully written, engaging novel about love. The characters draw you in to their world seamlessly. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and have gone back and re-read it a couple of times. Highly recommended
This book has everything you could want and Seth...just love Seth. He's brave and wounded and you cannot help but love him.
I started to read NancyKay Shapiro's debut novel a couple years ago, got about 40 pages in and put it aside. I'm not really sure why I stopped, I just wasn't groovin' to the story. And I desperately wanted to like it. See, NancyKay Shapiro was something of a Big Fandom Name back in my days in a certain fandom (which shall not be named so I don't out her). She wrote a different pairing than I did and I didn't always agree with her characterization, but there was no question that she could turn a ...more
I read the book in nearly one sitting - two long flights. It speaks to how fully I was sucked into the story, choosing it over sleeping. And I like the way the narrative flows when read all in one sitting.

Big picture:
What I appreciated about this novel was the way it explored the idea of identity. One may want to be someone other than who one is, to start fresh and put a difficult past behind, or to simply think there are parts of one's life that are inconsequential to who one is. It is rarely
Alexis Muirhead
Set in contemporary Manhattan, What Love Means to You People is certainly a page-turner: it's a melodrama in the finest sense, and reads exactly like a long, involved and very ambitious fanfic. (In fact, I suspect that it might have been a translation job - anyone know?)

Shapiro's narrative is crammed full of beloved cliches: a tortured romance, intrigue, mystery, sexual abuse, the death of a partner, a long-lost sister, gay parenthood and a surprisingly brave and honest ending. It's schlocky, c
Mar 12, 2013 Charles rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: gay men, readers of quality fiction
Recommended to Charles by: Mark Fontaine
Shelves: glbt
This is the great undiscovered gem of contemporary, quality gay fiction. In fact, it is one of the three best works of gay fiction, ever, along with "Call Me By Your Name" and "The Unreal Life of Sergei Nabokov." Published in 2006, and now out-of-print, it beautifully written and erotically charged. Stylistically, the novel calls to mind Michael Cunningham and Alan Hollinghurst; author NancyKay Shapir the same keen eye on the subtleties of contemporary urban life.

Someone, somewhere has to get th
Oct 17, 2008 Julia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who like contemporary fiction & isn't homophobic -- or doesn't want to be
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Licinia Cardoso
Gostei muito.
Assistimos neste livro a um amor pungente e verdadeiro entre dois homens, Seth muito jovem e sofrido e Jim um quarentão que viveu uma relação plena e rica com um amigo de infância que acabou de uma forma muito trágica.
great beginning and middle parts but the last third was just way too grand guignol - and that's saying a lot, coming from me :D
B Really good at times, other times I got so fucking annoyed at the stupid sister and other things, it really detracted
Katie M.
Compelling and well-written story, with an ending that allows for complexities and grey areas. I approve.
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