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Horse Crazy

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A love story set in the age of AIDS, Horse Crazy tells of a successful 35-year-old writer's obsession with a beautiful, young would-be artist and former junkie. Caught in an emotional trap of his own devising, and with his ex-lover lying in a hospital dying of AIDS, the writer is forced to confront his own mortality in this brilliant novel of erotic obsession in the gay ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published 1990 by Plume Fiction (first published January 1st 1989)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  142 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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mark monday
Gary Indiana is a wise and well-respected art critic. a photo of him will show a man who looks really gnomish, wizened well beyond his years, an almost malnourished version of Truman Capote. he is not even remotely a traditionally handsome guy. i say this not to be critical or demeaning; my point is that this is a man who has experienced difference his entire life - so i hoped his perspective would be informed by perhaps something of an outsider mentality. and this lack - combined with the ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I just wrote that I never wanted "to read another story about a sad sack young man in love with a 'crazy.'" Yet I just finished another book about a sad sack (not young) man in love with a "crazy." In this case it's an older vain writer in love with a younger beautiful man, who won't sleep with the writer, yet the young beauty proclaims his love, while the writer grows paranoid and crazy, and gives us a very nasty portrait of his vain, deceitful, disloyal, and duplicitous "boyfriend."

My friend
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Or do people like to poison themselves and each other with morality when the slightest pleasure makes it possible to breathe for a change."

I thought this to be an outstanding dissection of a relationship (in this case, homosexual, but I agree with William Burroughs in that this is "an archetypical story, expertly told. Fascinating to everyman, no matter what his sexual tastes" - or hers, come to that). In some ways - obliquely - it reminded me of the obsessive love story, "The Tunnel" by
Morgan M. Page
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the earlier New York AIDS novels - or a novel set in the time of the early AIDS crisis - Gary Indiana's Horse Crazy offers up a tale of emotional and other dependencies. Addiction stalks through the streets of Indiana's Lower East Side, as his characters succumb to drugs to love to boys to work while the world falls apart around them through AIDS and gentrification. Indiana writes with an anxious fury.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you've ever been caught in a situation where your love is obsessive, and your obsession is love, but the target is blurry and your best intentions are your enemy, this book is for you.
Aloysiusi Lionel
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Deconstructing the proxemics of bodily desires, within the bounds of social standards and the mechanics of psycopathy, operates in the debut novel of Gary Indiana, Horse Crazy (Plume Books, 1990). An art critic himself, Indiana transported the readers into the (mis)adventures of an unnamed art columnist together with his love object, Gregory, a bisexual waiter-photographer-heroin-addict. The narrative, however, does not succumb to the objectification of a character desired by the narrator. ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite being anchored (figuratively and literally) by a deeply frustrating tale of unrequited love, this first novel by Gary Indiana is a knock out. Like fog on the city streets in a film noir, interspersed throughout are some of the most devastating and astute observations of the physical and emotional toll rendered by AIDS crisis that I've ever read. Those who read the novel as about a sexless "love affair" between the narrator and the his muse miss the forest for the trees. This is an AIDS ...more
Andrew Chidzey
I picked this book up in San Francisco with high expectations as the author has been compared to another of my favourites - Armisted Maupin. That said the overall word to describe this book is 'disappointment'. The text rambled and there was no clear narrative - I found the character of Gregory frustrating and could not understand why the main character (narrator - no name) put up with him. Sometimes its good to finish a book just so you can get onto a better story!
Lisa K
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Please don’t use swimming in the ocean while menstruating as a metaphor for a dumb drama between 2 men! Do all men think they are the first to be daring enough to use a period joke?
Sorry, maybe this was exciting at the time it was written but to me it was boring and tbh I’m tired of junkies being romanticized.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drugs, homosexuality, New York...
Rob Christopher
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harrowing. I could relate to it so well. It plunged me back into my 20s ... Also, it's an incredibly evocative portrait of the time and place that was 80s NYC.
Fan Wu
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the coldest story of codependence ever told
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Treat
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was ok
Gary Indiana can write, but why did he write this? I defy you to tell me you weren't bored by this story about a pathetic obsession with a clear loser. No one is that good-looking. I add this to my growing list of books about fucked-up, uninteresting people in New York's East Village and/or LES, which seems to be the predominant theme of contemporary American fiction. World to New York City: get a life.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the pull quote on the cover ("an archetypal story, epertly told, fascinating to everyman, no matter what his sexual tastes" - William S Burroughs) and the header above the summary on the back cover ("A TASTE OF ASHES"), I knew I would like this. I didn't know I would love it.
Sep 01, 2010 rated it liked it
the unnamed writer does not so much fall in love as crash and burn for a junkie sociopath. mad, recidivist love in all its mess and non-redemptive drama.
Mark Spano
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very well told NYC story. I like the novella form. This is a good one.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
a man's love affair with a herion junkie
Dj Armacost
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Aug 12, 2019
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Nov 26, 2012
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Apr 26, 2016
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Justin Neville
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Nov 02, 2012
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Jun 26, 2012
Damian Fallon
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Jun 20, 2016
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Janine Perry
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Jan 21, 2020
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Gary Indiana is a critic and novelist. His most recent books include I Can Give You Anything But Love, a memoir, and Tiny Fish That Only Want To Kiss, a collection of short fiction. His writing has appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Vice, the London Review of Books, and many other publications.
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