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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  418 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In this brilliant literary mosaic centered around a love affair, acclaimed novelist Joseph Olshan explores the intense pressures and passions of gay life in New York City during the AIDS epidemic

Ten years ago, Will Kaplan and his lover went for a night swim in the Pacific Ocean—but only Will emerged. In the decade that followed, Will relocated to the other end of the conti
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2000 by Berkley Trade (first published September 1st 1994)
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Maurice by E.M. ForsterBrokeback Mountain by Annie ProulxThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinTales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Best Gay Fiction
144th out of 1,269 books — 1,549 voters

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Ije the Devourer of Books
Beautiful and poignant writing telling a beautiful and poignant story about relationships:

How they shape and un-shape us,
how love can be difficult yet desired so desparately,
the desire for intimacy
And the fear and barriers that prevent the true intimacy that so many of us desire.

This is a LAMDA award winner and I am not surprised because the writing is excellent and the story is deeply emotional.

Ten years ago Will lost his lover Chad, in a swimming accident. He has had other relationships sin
This is one of my favorite books. Of all time. Seriously. I've read it about 10 times.

Why would I spend that much time reading and re-reading a book? Because it speaks so loudly about love and loss in such a way as I can't describe. I always end up reading it in one sitting because I just get pulled into it headlong and can't let it go. The dialogue still holds up, as do the characters and the general theme of love and loss are always present in all of our lives.
Ten years ago Will lost his lover Chad when he disappeared the night they swam together in the Pacific. Chad’s body was never found, and Will is unable to come to terms with his loss; did Chad drown, or did he just desert him? Now Will looks back on that tragedy as he also recounts the events of the year he meet Sean Paris. Will has recently separated form his lover of four years Greg when he meets Sean. They quickly fall for each other, but it soon becomes apparent that Sean also has a troubled ...more
Carlos Mock
Nightswimmer by Joseph Olshan

Will Kaplan has been hurt in love. His boyfriend, Chad, and Will like to go night swimming off the coast of Santa Barbara. One night, they swim very far, a boat approaches them and only Will returns to the shore. However, Will thinks Chad is still alive and just wanted to get away from him. A feeling shared by two of Chad's roommates.

Sean Paris has been hurt by love also. A military family man, Sean fell for Randall Monroe, a man who used to work for Sean's stepfathe
There are many synopsis about the story itself.

I wish to focus on the individuals that make up the life of Will Kaplan, and the men he knew.

A man who 'literally'and 'figuratively speaking lost his lover 10 years prior when they both went for their ritual night swim. The author captures the emptiness, the anguish,the guilt,anger and utter hopelessness of our main character as he struggles to move on from that fateful night.

He moves to the east coast in an effort to establish a realtionship tha
There are some wonderful parts of Nightswimmer, particularly the parts where Sean Paris discusses his relationship with Randall Monroe and the three stars I'm giving are primarily for those parts. The diary entries and letters he writes about Randall are just great. Unfortunately, Sean isn't the main character here. Will is not that interesting to read about and he seems like a stalker to me. His behavior when he housesits for Sean is really intrusive and bothered me a lot. I also didn't like th ...more
b. binaohan
This was one of the very very first gay books I ever read as a queer youth. I bought it 50 cents at a library discard sale.

And... I still have the book. The story is odd but lovely. Full of loss and longing with the kind of enigmatic ending that I find compelling.
Stephen Brody
I do wish modern 'novelists' wouldn't so self-indulgently dress up rather dull biography as 'art'. One more for the rubbish bin while I'm clearing out.
Recommended and gifted by a friend. I never would have picked this book up on my own. I found it beautifully written and haunting, with some hard truths about love and relationships. A pleasant gem.
I found the constant shifts in narration from first to second to third person jarring. I was reminded at times of Larry Kramer's "Faggots" from the late 70s. In it the characters were almost obsessed with having as much sex as possible. Twenty years later in Olshan's book the characters are still looking for partners but more interested in relationships. What I did enjoy was the author's descriptions of the Morning Party, and Splash. Some things in gay life will seemingly never change. Not that ...more
Homero Arceyut
I remember loving this book, the sense of loss and longing. The uncertainty, the unanswered questions, the silent desperation was portrayed in a way that back when I read it, tore my very core!

I am going to reread this one for sure to see if I get the same devastating and gripping effect I remember!
This book was everything and it's opposite. it demonstrated the longing and the fear. from the longing of something, the longing for love and the fear of losing one self or something else. the book one of those book one find rare and it has a profound impact on one self.
Although I felt the characters could have been developed a bit more deftly, I will say that this book is better than many other titles where the main characters are gay or lesbian. So, if LGBT themes are of interest, this one is a cut above.
I don't think I liked it as much as all these other 5-star-reviewers did, but there is nothing wrong with it. It was good. Just didn't really resonate with me, somehow. It'd make a good movie...
A good summer read, but largely indulgent. A man struggles to come to terms with the lose of his lover years before. The writing style is comfortable and easy.
Never finished. Can't remember why. I might revisit and try again later.
brilliantly written, and hard not to fall in love with.
J. C.
Loved, loved, loved.
Sep 02, 2008 Damian added it
crazy romantic
Helene Kroeger
Helene Kroeger marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2015
Jonathan Olson
Jonathan Olson marked it as to-read
Nov 09, 2015
Liam added it
Oct 19, 2015
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Joseph Olshan is an award-winning American novelist. His first novel, Clara's Heart, won the Times/Jonathan Cape Young Writers' Competition and went on to be made into a feature film starring Whoopi Goldberg. He is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which, The Conversion, will be published in 2008.

In addition to his novels, he has written extensively for newspapers and magazines, incl
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“On the other hand, I had to remind myself that, unlike you, I'm the sort of person whose imagination gets overstimulated from very little. And sometimes I get confused between what I've nakedly perceived and what I've varnished upon that perception.” 1 likes
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