Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s: a world of bare-knuckled ideology, hard drinking, and secret dossiers, dominated by such outsized characters as Richard Nixon, Drew Pearson, Perle Mesta, and ...more
I won't go into a ton of detail on the plot, but at the surface-level it's your standard tale about two gay boys who are unable to realize their love and their relationship due to homophobia and social norms. It's also a part of another gay standard in whi ...more
For some reason, I found this story so unnerving. So sad...Was any character truly happy? (Not that stories have to be full of happy people.)
In short, the McCarthy hearing chapters could have been better edited. It went on too long. And the whole time I was wondering if what I was reading was the true version or the fiction.
But the near-last line is the one that really tingles.
"Tell him I was happy en ...more
Set in 1953-57, and bookended with two brief 1991 chapters, the novel is less about left-wing sympathizers than the relationship between two gay men: Hawkins Fuller and Timothy Laughlin. The requisite items are in place for this to be labelled as an historical novel—the frequent reference to current happenings. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Army-McCarthy hearings, for example, play a role and there are mentions of Eisenhower, Joseph Alsop and a host of other contemp ...more
Wow. The more I think back on reading this book, the more I want to revise its rating downward. When I first finished the book, I gave it a three, which soon gave way to a two. Today, I decided I needed to revise it down once again to a one upon even further consideration.
This novel had great potential. The truth of the era of the '50s, with the horrific Red and Lavender Scares that destroyed so many people and led to further stigmatization and mistreatme ...more
As for the love story, neither character is really sympathetic.
Hawk not all -- he has a bad case of internalized homophobia, which might have been interesting if presented as a product of time and place, but that connection is ...more
Set in the early fifties, the tale is full of the subterfuge and lying that gay life required in those bigo ...more
It's notable that many critics, even those that otherwise praise Fellow Travelers, censure Thomas Mallon for occasionally letting facts impede a good story. As in his past historical novels, including Henry and Clara and Dewey Defeats Truman, the author veils scrupulous research with well-constructed, insightful plots. This time, reviewers feel Mallon stretches to weave period references into this highly personal novel. Otherwise, Mallon, a resident of Washington, D.C., and a member of the Natio...more
I'm mixed about this. While I much enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book, by the end, I got tired of the detail about politics. Yeah, this is ME I'm talking about - tired of politics!
I felt some of this got in the way of the story, and that much of the detail about who was in/who was out/who liked or hated whom also detracted from the character development.
I didn't shed a tear at the end, wh ...more
Story of a page during the McCarthy era in Washington. Also features notables that were prominent during the proceedings-McCarthy, Kennedy and Roy Cohn (who was also a major character in Angels In America).
The proceedings is a backdrop to the one sided relationship between the young, innocent page and a selfish high official within the federal government.
Story reminds me o ...more
This young man becomes involve with high power worker in Congress, Hawkins Fuller. They have to be careful of their affair due to the witch hunt on capitol hill for both gays and communists.
The history is a great addition to the plot, because there are times that you want to slep Tim, the main character. Ah, but youthf ...more
He attended Brown University as an undergraduate and earned a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He received the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in 1994 and won a Rockefeller Fellowship in 1987. Mallon taught English at Vassar College from 1979-1991.
Mallon is the author of the ...more