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Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,010 ratings  ·  278 reviews
An Entertainment Weekly Best Book of May 2019
A TIME Magazine Best Book of May 2019

A Cosmopolitan Best Book of May 2019
An Oprah Magazine Best LGBTQ Book of 2019

A gripping portrait of life in a Montauk summer house--a debut memoir of first love, identity and self-discovery among a group of friends who became family.

They call Montauk the end of the world, a spit of
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,010 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Larry H
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Self-esteem can be a powerful weapon, but a lack of it can cause us more problems than we could ever imagine. At age 27, John Glynn was seriously suffering from a general feeling of unworthiness, a debilitating sense of loneliness that he couldn't explain, nor could he determine its source. He wondered if he would ever find someone to love, someone to be with, and if he did, would they love him back? His parents told him to be patient, but with many of his college friends pairing up, h
Hank Stuever
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
I expect people will have two wildly different reactions to this memoir: Some will find it a riveting and accurate (and moving) account of millennial living -- as it was experienced by privileged white young adults working in New York and binge-drinking their summer weekends away in Montauk, Long Island, circa 2013.

Another reaction, probably from those of us who are somewhat older than the author, is an astonishment that someone can be so self-absorbed, even in the sharp hindsight of memoir, in
May 22, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: netgalley
DNF'd at 25%. ...more
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

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When I got a copy of this, I anticipated a nonfiction version of THE BEACH crossed with CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. Some of the other advanced reviews made me a little cautious, as they were leaning towards the negative side, but they seemed to be written by older individuals; I hoped that, being a millennial like the author, his experience would resonate with me more, and perhaps I would enjoy the book more than the people who didn't.

The pro
Giving up on this one. Just not for me. The writing and the characters are just too immature for me.
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the audiobook narrator was phenomenal, this book really just was plain jane boring for me. There are people who don't need to come out in real life and I think that this would be a book for you to read. For those of us who do need to come out, this book is not anything you haven't already heard of. ...more
Maria Lago
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was ok
But how is it possible for Barbies and Kens to have sex if they lack genitals?? Mr Glynn, please! Don't take us for fools ;) ...more
My nana's death was sad but I pregamed fireball ice luge shots with Matt as the Accounting Bros left for the Crusty Crab and a couple people who might be models slammed in the kitchen. Will anyone ever love me? Matt looked cute in his skinny jeans and pink polo.

There, I saved you a few hours.
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbt
"Out East" by John Glynn is a surprisingly insufferable memoir of coming out in your 20s against a backdrop of hedonism, wealth, and privileged heterosexuality.

John Glynn, an upper middle-class book editor, thought he was straight but felt deeply alone. After agreeing to spend $2000 to spend some weekends at a house in Montauk, he begins to understand that he doesn't like women - that maybe he is gay or bi. The story recounts countless nights of drinking top-shelf liquor, listening to hetero-pop
Miriam Readling
Jun 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
This sounds like a high schooler who is practicing how to use the five senses in their creative writing e.g “ I walked down the winding, dark, chilly, cold, road...” I want to feel empathy for the narrator and his existential crisis but I’m too distracted by the fact that this is a book about a bunch of privileged douche/ douchettes whose greatest losses at 28 have been their 90 year old grandparents. Every page : we did shots and put on our bikinis and board shorts. Then I sat alone on my bed a ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This is more or less the literary equivalence of binge-watching a season of 'Big Brother' ... or maybe "Real World' or 'Jersey Shore'... it is definitely 'guilty pleasure' material. And though it seems suspect that someone could both remember entire conversations from 5 years previously verbatim - or reach the age of 27 apparently without a clue that he likes guys more than girls - one kind of does get swept away in the soap opera-ish-ness of the whole thing. Even though the prose is a bit over ...more
Basic B's Guide
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you @grandcentralpub for the free copy.

I first heard about this book on @sarahsbookshelves podcast. I adore her podcast by the way. She’s snarky, sassy and so very honest. I admire how she has no qualms about DNF’ing a book. I’m taking a cue from her this year and trying not to force myself to finish a book that I’m really struggling with.

Onto the book…
John is a few years out of college, living in NYC with friends and working at a publishing house. All appears to be okay on the outside, bu
Elissa Sweet
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OUT EAST is a fantastic coming-of-age and coming-out memoir set in a hedonistic party house on Long Island, told with a sharply observed wit and heartbreaking candor—basically, it's Joan Didion meets The Real World. At the beginning of the book, John is an anxious, lonely 27-year-old New Yorker who, while grieving the death of his beloved grandmother, uses her small inheritance to buy into a summer house on Montauk. That summer, amid the binge-drinking party and beach scene, he finds a true trib ...more
Samuel Warren
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of LGBT literature recently and it was refreshing to read about another person's experience that was similar to my own - a story not about the 1970's or a high schooler or about conversion therapy or about experimenting in college, but about someone who figured it out a bit later and dealt with the struggles that exist in today's society.

John's words are real, his story left you with hope while also not painting a fairytale experience. Out East had me laughing out loud on one pa
Jul 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
I can’t even begin to fathom how/why this shallow little diary got published, let alone to such favorable reviews (well, there is the friends-in-high-places advantage, if you read the acknowledgments and sappy blurbs from otherwise respected authors). Millennials trek to Montauk for the summer weekends, get black-out drunk, then do it all over again within the same short weekend. And then again, weekend after weekend. So enlightening! Meanwhile, the author writes about his friends, and brand nam ...more
Oct 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is a memoir, and I don't want to speak negatively about a person's life journey. Life is hard enough without people critiquing you. I only want to talk about the book as a book.

This is a terrible book. It's just a recounting of unremarkable events, without an iota of introspection about them. It seems like the narrator didn't actually want to write this book, didn't want to share himself or investigate himself or his history, so he told his story in the most guarded, shallow, unexposed
Tyler Goodson
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
This is a memoir about self-doubt--especially when you're still figuring that self out--but also about friendship and first, heart-crushing love. It has all the addictive qualities of a great novel, and veers seamlessly between moments of quiet introspection and raucous expansiveness. It's beautiful, romantic, and bittersweet, just like the end of Summer. ...more
Shira Selkovits
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pub date May 14

I loved every page of this sweet memoir. You can smell the ocean, the booze, the hair products, and the sweat of this buzzing beach house in Montauk during the summer of 2013. This story is filled with so much vulnerability and heart, and each personality was treated with utmost respect and care. Every reader will likely picture his or her own emotional awakening while moving through this story - remembering the people who shaped us, the events that made us realize who we are, and
Ellen Zegura
A 2.5 but I rounded down because the book so badly needed an editor to reduce the repetitious soul searching that rarely went below about one foot deep. Also the level of mindless partying and drinking was depressing to read about over and over and over. Grow up, privileged young adults. There is an interesting story here, but it required excavation.
Jocelyn H
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF. Oof! I read 80 pages (1/3 of the book) and I just can’t read anymore. This was so disappointing! I had read about this book before it came out and was really looking forward to it. This wasn’t at all what I was expecting.

The book is supposed to be a memoir about a man who has struggled with loneliness and anxiety all his life, who comes to realize in his late 20s that he is gay, during the course of a summer spent at a beach house with a group of gay and straight friends in Montauk, Long I
May 30, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: giveaways, 2019
I don't like to not finish books, even if I skim or skip sections. But yeah this wasn't for me. I got about halfway through before throwing in the towel.

To be fair to the author, I won't leave a rating. There's nothing wrong with his writing. John Glynn seems like a nice guy. The subjects of his memoir just remind me so much of some of the people I went to college with. The ones who never really grew out of those days--not necessarily the drinking or partying, but the mindset. I'm only a few yea
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Charming. Authentic. And so real. Reading along and joining John Glynn's journey is a great joy and privilege. ...more
May 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
A major disappointment given the ratings and reviews. This wasn’t the jump into my summer reading list i was hoping for with this raunchy story.
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, debut, memoir
I thought this was great. Glynn is a gifted writer- he so accurately captured that post college existential dread that many of us face. He shared his coming out story with bravery and heart. The men and women of the Hive are privileged and they party hard, but there's depth to this story. This is a perfect summer memoir- who knew those were a thing? ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very good memoir. Lots of reference to places I have been in Montauk.
May 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
I received Out East by John Glynn for free through Goodreads Giveaways program. I wanted to like this book. The premise-- a twentysomething man heading to Montauk for a summer share-- was intriguing. I couldn't get past the first 50 pages, though.

Glynn talks a bit about the loneliness he's felt throughout his life, but doesn't delve too deeply into this. I wanted more depth and got snippets instead. In a memoir, you want to feel empathy for the author, and I felt some, but very little. Memoirs c
Ross Garner
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Set in idyllic Montauk, this book is poignantly written and is a very powerful coming out / coming of age story. Out East is filled with wit and humor with its robust gaggle of characters all living in the "Hive" and unconditionally supporting each other. This book is a MUST READ for a good cry, a good laugh and a very relatable story. ...more
Kathy Changeux
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I found this on a New Yorker list of books to read this summer. It was a fun read but I wish the editor had done a better job. The author’s overuse of brand names, “The Hive,” and “pregame” was cloying and distracting.
Jesse Lobbs
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
To be young and privileged does not necessarily a good novel make.
Donna Hines
This was like a frat party turned drink fest turned sex fest for the ages.
It was not my cup of tea for this woman who never drank, got stoned off her rump, or had wild nights as a mother of three teens.
I pray I never have to experience this wildness with my teens as they are 18, 16, and 12 and pray that these love fests are not something anyone should have to go through.
The reason being one should love oneself not go outside for such comforts and lessen one's soul to feel accepted by anyone.
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John Glynn is an editor at Hanover Square Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. He grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and lives in New York City. OUT EAST is his first book.

Articles featuring this book

This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride Month—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and...
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“Even at five I was thinking about the mystic connection one could discover in another. The idea that you could travel through life with someone seemed to me like the zenith of happiness. Life, like a double-sticked Popsicle, was meant to be cracked down the middle. Here, I’d say. One half for you, one half for me. Red’s my favorite flavor, too. When you finish, keep the stick. There’s a joke written on it.” 1 likes
“This was where I thrived, in the moments of haze: the dancing, the music, the collective buzz. Chaos was intimacy; distraction was intimacy. Watching a friend do blow off the dresser was intimacy. My” 1 likes
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