Jack Holmes and His Friend: A Novel - Edmund White

This was a real coup. I found it in the laundry room and, recognizing Edmund White as a literary lion, I scooped it up. I was immediately captivated by the Mad Men setting and Jack Holmes' quest to figure out what kind of life he wanted. His story is complicated by his grudging acceptance of his homosexuality and his falling in love with Will, an aspiring novelist who happens to be straight. The plot is driven by their on again/off again friendship as they navigate through monogamy, promiscuity, fatherhood and infidelity and ultimately conclude that sometimes intimacy has little to do with sexual attraction. Taking us from the turbulent 60's through the sobering reality of AIDS in the 80's, White provides graphic descriptions of both gay and straight sex, but his overriding concern is the evolution of an enduring friendship between average guys who learn to love without lust.

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