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Man About Town
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Man About Town

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  122 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
A congressional adviser and habitué of a cozy circuit of bars inside the Beltway, Joel Lingeman never quite felt middle-aged. At least not until he was abandoned by his partner of fifteen years and suddenly thrust into a dating scene with men half his age and no discernible trace of love handles. But this unexpected hole in his life inspires Joel's search for a 1964 editio ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published February 1st 2003)
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Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What starts off as a simple story of a congressional employee dealing with being dumped by his long-term partner takes on two other significant plots. Joel is in his 40s, not exactly happy. After being dumped by Sam, he has a difficult time re-entering the bar scene with any skills in man-hunting, for sex or love.

At his job, he objectively helps a clueless conservative Senator draft a bill that will cut health benefits from people with HIV. Meanwhile, his minor teenhood obsession over a handsome
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked who and what this book was about--a 45 year old man whose 15 year relationship ends which shakes up his atrophied life. The writing is intellegent, truthful and for the most part humorous--though it teeters on the edge of fatalistic and self-pitying (which must be since it's describing the main character's point of view). The storylines also are deftly realized and for the most part believable--though one of them I had a little trouble buying. The most interesting storyline is about the ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit disappointing after enjoying American Studies so much, but still a good book, sharp insights.....
N W James
Apr 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbtfriendly
Man About Town by Mark Merlis was about a middle aged man being left by his partner of 15 years. He ruminates about his mistakes and tries the dating scene again in his late 40's to find a different world. It was interesting to me to read something about a previously partnered man dealing with divorce and trying to fit himself back into the gay community as an older man. Definitely not a topic written about often. Next I think he should write about a gay man in a gay nursing home mulling his lif ...more
Murat Aydogdu
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. The pluses included the setting: familiarity of DC. The main character is this fairly regular gay guy in his early 40s. He has his strengths (career, for instance) and weaknesses (lousy at relationships and alcohol problems) as well as a creepy / cute obsession with the photo of a guy he saw in a magazine decades ago. So much so that he gets a private detective to track him down.

There is enough suspense and drama throughout the book which made me read it prett
Vic Flessas
Oct 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
My first 'serious' book in awhile - you know, contemporary drama with a challenging emotional mindscape. Growing older and suddenly being a single gay-man in Washington, DC. The images of the political life in the bureaucracy surrounding Congress are amongst the most interesting in the book. The book is rigorously honest by one of my favorite authors, who himself spent the first part of his life as a bureaucrat in DC before discovering he had a remarkable talent as an author.
Ronald Wise
After the first few pages, I was disappointed with the impression that this was going to be a book of gay lust and gay-bar drama. But that certainly turned out to be a wrong first impression! The protagonist and story line soon displayed serious depth in many directions — relationships, morlizing politics, personal responsibility, AIDS…. I learned of this novel through the Seattle Public Library's reading list "Gay and Lesbian Fiction."
George Ilsley
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This writer is consistently brilliant, and I've been meaning to re-read this novel. Merlis is a smart and rewarding writer, and I've never been disappointed when re-reading him.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
Notcathy J
rated it it was ok
Jun 14, 2007
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Mark Merlis is an American writer and health policy analyst. He became an independent consultant in 2001, writing papers for government agencies and for organizations such as AARP, the American Cancer Society, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Born in Framingham, Massachusetts and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Merlis attended Wesleyan University and Brown University. He subsequently took a job wit
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