Hey-You's Reviews > Dancer from the Dance

Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran
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's review
Mar 14, 2012

liked it
Read from October 08, 2011 to March 14, 2012 — I own a copy

The point of the novel is proven through the way it is told; the entire story is like sinking in to a hot, sweaty, musky haze. Decadent would be a way of describing the language used. The story of a man who is in love with love, who chases the ideal of love as it's found in classic romances and not the stinking, fallible, funny way that relationships really are.

It's been called the 'Gay Gatsby' and in many ways this is perfectly apt, it uses the pursuit of love as the American Dream and details in lingering, running sentences the lives of a group of queens ambling through the early days of New York discotheques and bath houses.

The story of Malone, the young man who discovers gay life and falls in love with everyone and everything, searching for a true love that couldn't possibly be real, and his best friend Sutherland, a dramatic, intellectual queen who knows everything and doesn't love anyone, is at times convoluted, confusing, and melodramatic. The character of Sutherland is outlandish and unbelievable at times, the portrait of the author as the perfect queen who always has the right drugs and the right magical phrase from atypical literature to quote. He grows as a person and then shrinks away, serving as a benefactor and sometimes foil to the character of Malone who is not so much a person but rather a symbol (which is also detailed in the book which is written from the point of view of a sideline queen who watches with a sort of distant attachment).

The meat of the novel, right in the middle where Malone is living in poor tenement housing and falling in love with the dirty sidewalks and the Hispanic neighborhood boys, is like an lucid dream; it's easy to skate through as if you were the one in love.

I felt, at times, that the author had several points he felt needed to be nailed home and so he repeats them, over and over, as if particularly pleased with how a lyrical sentence or a certain musing came out. Occasionally overstated but unique in the way it captures an idea, from start to fading end, makes it a worthwhile read to me.

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Reading Progress

01/30/2012 page 152
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