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Boys and Girls Together

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  968 ratings  ·  73 reviews
William Goldman is famous for his Academy Award-winning screenplays, infamous for the thriller that did for dentists what Psycho did for showers, beloved for his hilarious "hot fairy-tale," and notorious for his candid behind-the-scenes Hollywood chronicles. But long before Butch and Sundance, Buttercup, and the Tinsel-Town tell-alls, he made his mark as one of the great p ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 696 pages
Published 1965 by Bantam (first published 1964)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  968 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
If I'd stopped reading after the chapters about the characters' childhoods, I would have given it five stars, I think. But it really went downhill for me. The children all grew up into fairly damaged and unlikeable adults. The most likeable was the one we knew the least. And the female characters were described primarily in terms of their sexual attractiveness and desire (or lack thereof). My favorite part was Rudy's childhood relationship with his grandfather, the only person in his life who wa ...more
James Sorensen
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from the bathroom bookshelf in the furnished apartment where I was staying, and I think there was a reason it was in there. It seems barely better than reading a shampoo bottle. Many of the reviewers mention that it was a meaningful book when they read it as a teenager, and I can understand how it might have been, considering its examination of adult interactions. As an adult, however, I found the book a rather boring and depressing look at relationships. The characters are also ...more
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still have the thick weathered paperback from my youth. A rather strange book that I’ve also read probably three times. William Goldman’s writings are quite diverse, and this is one of his darker ones. I love it.
David Jordan
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before he became a Hollywood hotshot screenwriter("Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid," "All the President's Men," etc.) and took up genre fiction ("Marathon Man," etc.), Goldman had a substantial career as literary novelist, and this is is his biggest and perhaps best book. It knits together the life stories of several artistic types who eventually come together as the cast and crew of a Broadway play. Goldman spins a solid plot with an enteraining narrative voice, but his real strength is drop-d ...more
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this long before Goodreads. I thought it was great at the time. I believe I read it, when i was in college I the '60's, and it was about young people of roughly my generation finding their identity and their way in the world. I thought then and now that it had a lot more meaning and relevance for me than any of the things I was reading for my English Lit. classes. My "to read" list is getting despairingly long, but I'm really tempted to read this one again. ...more
Aug 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all-time favorite books.
Lizzie Jones
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book literally to pieces! Re-read it so much it came apart in my hands one day!
Dec 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kept reading in the hope that somehow there would be a point to this book, but unless you count almost everyone living in their own personal hell for the rest of their lives, there wasn't. Since none of the characters were particularly likable, you don't feel too bad for them. ...more
Serafina Sands
Sep 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i thought this was very daring when i read it in high school; alas, on finding my copy recently, it has not aged well
Mike Turner
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goldman's best-try to put this book down- ...more
Micah Streiffer
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whoa. Didn’t see that last chapter coming.
Paul Lyons
Aug 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I love William Goldman, but I've only ever read The Princess Bride and two of his screenwriting books (all of which I highly recommend). So when I saw this 700+ page tome at the used bookstore I grabbed it up.

Boys and Girls Together is one of Goldman's earlier books about five children (and some of their parents) from childhood to adulthood in the 50s and 60s. One way or another, all of them end up living in New York as their paths intersect. Each section is a short portrait of a portion in one
In the beginning the book reminded me of early Irwin Shaw and James Jones: From Here to Eternity, but with some big flaws. Then, I thought it was going to be an updated, Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio but it became more like misfits in New York. I think it was probably a scandalous book for the time: homosexuality, sadism, cross-dressing, adultery, rape, rancorous marriages and the double standards for female sexuality are all included in this sad tale of boys and girls growing up to adulthood. New ...more
Christine Dunahoo
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is a part in the latter half of the book in which a character says she hates Faulkner because all his characters sound the same. That's what I was thinking about this book all through it. Maybe I didn't "get it" but it was awful. The only likable character is Rudy's grandfather and we don't get to see him for long. It's hard to care much about what happens when the characters are all so masochistic. ...more
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess I’m done with William Goldman. After loving The Princess Bride I’ve gone downhill to “Boys and Girls Together”. Basically a collection of characters who turn out to be quite unlikeable. I was going to give it two stars because of the one and only likable character, but then I read the disgusting ending, thus the one star rating. For a very large book, this was a very large waste of time.
Suzanne Thackston
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hard to star this, actually, as I read it when I was about 11 or 12. Most of the adult stuff (and virtually all of the sex) went over my head. But I'm giving it a 4 because of the scene with the kid and the chocolate Easter bunny. Scarred me for life. Amazing fricking writing.
I really don't remember anything else about the book.
Leslie R. Stellman
Disturbing yet gripping!

This was an interesting and timely story even though written some 50 years ago. The characters are unforgettable and some you want to see justice down, as in the case of at least 3 characters whose disturbing personalities cried out for therapy.
Pat Maust
Love his writing. Dialogue was exceptional. The book didn't hang together very well. Too many characters and too abrupt changes from character study to character study. ...more
Alayna Josz
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it's been a good 12 years since i've read it, but i remember truly enjoying it. i'd love to read it again some day and i'm glad i hung on to it. ...more
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I actually never finished this because I found it going nowhere and none of the characters were likeable. At first I was caught up by the stories of these people, but then realized if there is a connection to all of them, it must happen in the last 50 pages. I was not willing to wait.
William Goldman's Boys and Girls Together tells the story of five different young people who all end up in the Big Apple, and whose lives come to intersect. This is a novel that focuses very intensely on its characters, and so we get not just the story of the principals, but their parents as well. Wannabe writer Aaron is the son of a New Jersey lawyer and his Southern bride, who is his father's delight until his untimely death of a heart attack, and winds up being the afterthought to his mother' ...more
Patricia Tennesen
What a great read. The characters are rich and often sharp witted, troubled, disturbed, typical and not so typical. Together they remind us that we all have baggage and if permitted this can destroy us. The only not great part is that I read this on an electronic device and it kept going and going, then I looked up the pages and warning, it is seven-hundred some odd pages. Wow.
Alanna Smith
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really hard book to review. Let me first begin by saying that it's got a lot of sex (some of it even homosexual sex, for that matter), so if that will bother you, just stay away. BUT, none of it is at all explicit. So if you're okay with implied sex-- definitely no worse than a PG-13 rating-- then this book won't bother you after all.

The other warning I think I need to give is that William Goldman doesn't really love to write happy endings. Those of you who are familiar with the book T
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like William Goldman. He is a natural born writer. He has a gift for humor, dialogue and a keen insight into human nature, all of which are much in evidence in this novel. One thing that is lacking here is a satisfying conclusion. I don't want to give out any spoilers but I feel it was very contrived and overwrought and unconvincing. The rest of the book was fine (with the exception of the interminable chapters involving Jenny and Charley's relationship. That plot line was cliched and r ...more
William Lashner
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old girlfriend told me about this long ago and I finally got around to reading it and I certainly see why she adored it so. Goldman was young when he wrote this, and purposely tried to write something long, and long it is. It reminded my of Dreiser in parts, the way he convincingly gives you ever shifting emotions in long sequences even if you get the gist of it pretty quickly. Like with Dreiser, I frequently lost patience. But the way it was tied so tightly to its era - mid sixties, just bef ...more
Mar 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
A series of great character studies and converging plotlines that, sadly, end up going nowhere. The main characters are all very likable, and especially Rudy's generational saga is thrilling - some of the chapters drag on for too long, but the emotional impact is very strong throughout the story. It's a shame the novel ends with absolutely nothing - no big resolution, no reveal, just the characters destroying themselves. Perhaps it's a commentary on something, but I wasn't able to see it. In any ...more
Lisbeth Solberg
I read this when I still lived with my parents--it was copyrighted 1964--and picked it up out of nostalgia to reread. I remembered liking it then; this time not so much. Rudy's relationship with his grandfather reminded me of The Princess Bride which I like better than this book, but I loved that plotline of this one, at least in the early part of the book. And there were other sympathetic characters, too. Lots of confused characters repeat negative patterns of behavior, but Goldman seems to hat ...more
Brien Lee
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found my mother's copy of this when I was seventeen or so. I read it cover to cover in three or four nights, and it's a 600 page book. It introduced me to adult sex, homosexuality, multi-character threading, pickle barrels, and incredibly well-described locals. Yes, it is depressing as so many have mentioned, but so is Catcher in the Rye. I personally guaranteed at least three or four more people read it at the time.

It is a brilliant book, and Goldman's immediate followups (or at least hose a
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Goldman grew up in a Jewish family in Highland Park, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, and obtained a BA degree at Oberlin College in 1952 and an MA degree at Columbia University in 1956.His brother was the late James Goldman, author and playwright.

William Goldman had published five novels and had three plays produced on Broadway before he began to write screenplays. Several of his novels he later used

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