Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Numbers” as Want to Read:
Numbers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Numbers

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Book jacket/back: Johnny Rio, a handsome narcissist but no longer a pretty boy, travels to Los Angeles, the site of past sexual conquest and remembered youthful radiance, in a frenzied attempt to recreate his younger self. Johnny has ten precious days to draw the "numbers," the men who will confirm his desirability, and with the hungry focus of a man on borrowed time, he s
...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published 1967)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Numbers, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Numbers

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  298 ratings  ·  27 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Bodosika Bodosika
Started this book yesterday night
thought it would be interesting but I guess am wrong,
The characters descriptions were absurd and boring,the dialogue too artificial.I never knew it was about homosexuality and group of perverts....all the same I don't pick a book without reading it till the End,But I assure you that I will never read any book by 'John Rechy' again!
Chadwick
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I recognize that this is considered a classic of LGBT literature. But it's just way too focused on a scene that I believe the LGBT community of 2019 has moved beyond thanks in part to broader acceptance, increased civil rights, and most importantly, greater aspirations of it's individual members. I personally don't understand a world where someone is defined by a body count of partners. Identifying solely with that statistic and personal beauty is so shallow an existence that it makes me almost ...more
Huw Collingbourne
Apr 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Rechy is a wonderful but sadly unappreciated writer and this is one of his best books. It tells the story of Johnny Rio (a barely fictionalised version of the author) who returns to Los Angeles for ten days in which he will hunt for a fixed number of sexual partners. And this is where we come to the major reason for Rechy's lack of wider public appreciation: his novels contain a great deal of explicit description of male-to-male sexual acts. Even in the 21st Century, some people may find th ...more
Micha Meinderts
Jul 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it was a good book for its time, but damn, such pointless drizzle. The style grated across my eyes, there was no plot to speak of, the character was not very fleshed out at all and not very likeable either and the worst thing was that in the end the whole story had been in vain. It reminded me somewhat of The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway, what I remember of it anyway, and that's NOT a compliment.

Waste of time.
Samuel
May 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...for the sex-obsessed
Picoroco
Poor, dispiriting follow up to City of Night. Morally hollow with no real narrative to hang on to.
Carlos
Apr 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this book after having enjoyed City of Night, but I was disappointed by how repetitive and dull this book was. A clear “sequel” to the City of Night, this book sought to address the existential crisis that arises when someone who is completely defined by his sex appeal realizes that his good looks won’t last forever. However, unlike the first book, where the protagonist is gradually able to see through the façade of his “hustling”, the protagonist in this novel seems incapa ...more
Dale
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitely adult reading material, not so much because of any eroticism, but rather the subject matter--promiscuous sexual excess. It may take some familiarity with a life such as Mr. Rechy elucidates to appreciate what a truly refreshing and poignant writer he actually is.
Steve Woods
Most people lead their lives within the structures of relationship established by their society, drawing them like a blanket of security that reassures about the nature of self in relation to the world and others. For some however, who are torn out of that comfortable place and broken in some way by their early experiences in life, usually within the family, there is another side of life, a darker side than dwells near the fringes. Most people have some awareness of it, unless they live in compl ...more
Thomas Hinton
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel follows the exploits of Johnny Rio, an extremely good-looking narcissist, during his ten day return to the city of 'dead angels', Los Angeles.

Rechy explores the city as a series of subterranean spaces -- public parks, theatre balconies, cinema bathrooms -- that play host to the grubby and fleeting homosexual activities of the nameless individuals who haunt them. In doing so, Rechy delineates an interpenetration of sex and death, where the former, played out in all its glorious anonym
...more
Adam Dunn
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
It's not City of Night, don't be expecting it. This follow-up likely disappointed many but it is classic Rechy and well describes the sex-hunt and mating game that continues to this day and likely will well into the future. Cruising has never been displayed as well as in this book, and perhaps, being written in 1967, everyone knew it had been done the best it was going to get and moved on. This could explain why a similar book hasn't been done since. But... but... is it enough?
The book could do
...more
James Roman
As an impressionable junior-high student when this book was released, I had an after-school job at the town library, shelving books. It meant that I held the very newest books before a single person checked them out. To prevent challenges by local residents if a book might be "racy," the librarians glued a favorable review inside the cover to preclude all confrontations. "Numbers" was one such title. All I had to do was look at the cover and spy that review pasted inside to know that I must be t ...more
Gene Hult
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dated, rather repetitive, and with a character who comes off as more emotionally stunted, psychologically backward, and depressing rather than engaging, Numbers nevertheless has some lovely descriptions, and certainly serves as a fascinating historical record of the pre-AIDS era. The sex is more perfunctory than titillating (as supported by the plot and characterization), but there's a lot of it, and its honesty and directness still feels fresh. My favorite part of the book was the naturalistic ...more
Andy
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Holly Woodlawn
Recommended to Andy by: Mano
Shelves: gay-lesbian
My edition of "Numbers" has John Rechy decked out in his hustler finest, resplendent in work denim shirt sleeves rolled up the arm to show off his saucy guns. Really wild.

"Numbers" is a wild story about a hustler who returns back to his old haunts in Hollywood after a sabbatical in Texas. Once he comes back he returns to his old habits, realizing he wasn't really in it for the money, but is in reality a rampaging sex addict. The book starts out as a serious meditation on loneliness but descends
...more
S.A. Collins
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Numbers (and City of the Night) were my bibles of gay life when I was a burgeoning teenaged gay boy of the late 70's and 80's. His work both enriched me and instructed me on a part of gay life that I knew nothing about. But more importantly, Rechy gave me the gift that being gay didn't mean that I was emasculated. I was transformed by this knowledge.

When I need a literary reset - it is his prose and his hand and his mind that I turn to. He has never failed me yet.
Wally
May 31, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goodlooking youngmen
This book is serious literature and porn - incredibly dark existentialist tale set in L.A. Is Rechy the best writer of Los Angeles ever? Good question. I don't like to deal in absolutes personally, but you could say, yes, and I might hum and nod quietly in agreement. I teach this book in a class on addiction. One mystery - is there a cameo appearance by Isherwood 3/4 of the way through - I've always thought so.
Marcus
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked Rechy's writing style; it made getting into Johnny Rio's thoughts and downward (?) spiral entertaining and even tangible, in some parts. However, the content and characters did nothing for me. Johnny was too narcissistic for me to enjoy reading about him, even as he changed throughout the novel. But like I said, the way Rechy strings words together is superb.
me
Dec 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 95% seedy sex-capades and 5% story. I enjoyed the very small story which centered around old L.A. It got to the point where I started scanning over the sex scenes which were often and redundant.
Liked City of Night much more.
Peter
Jan 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Focused, repetitive and somewhat extreme narrative.
Tlcp
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting description of subculture just as all Rechy's books are
pan ellington
another gritty, l.a. tome by rechy. enjoyable reading about parts of the city i know well, nothing i haven't read before, though.
Richard
A classic LGBT book from the sixties, it is a quick read that illustrates sexual compulsion with engaging and funny prose that posseses very dark undertones. One of John Rechy's better books.
pjr8888
Feb 19, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, fiction
revised Evergreen Editions 1984
David Cain
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Completely brillian
Lutz
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it's not bad , but sadly not very good either , and not a patch on the amazing and life- changing City of Night.
Acianci1
rated it liked it
Nov 03, 2012
Jwesleyc
rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2008
Brett Stevens
rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2015
Michael Reed
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2012
Michelle
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Lord Won't Mind (Peter & Charlie Trilogy)
  • Gaywyck
  • Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders
  • Harlan's Race (Harlan's Story, #2)
  • The Beauty of Men
  • A Place I've Never Been
  • What Love Means to You People
  • Last Summer
  • Virtually Normal
  • Querelle of Brest
  • Skinned Alive
  • Goldenboy (Henry Rios Mystery, #2)
  • Brendan Wolf
  • He's The One
  • 50 Gay and Lesbian Books Everybody Must Read
  • Like People in History
  • Surprising Myself
  • The Waterfront Journals
109 followers
John Rechy is an American author, the child of a Scottish father and a Mexican-American mother. In his novels he has written extensively about homosexual culture in Los Angeles and wider America, and is among the pioneers of modern LGBT literature. Drawing on his own background, he has also contributed to Chicano literature, especially with his novel The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, which is ta ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »