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The problem with "novels" that read like biographies, is having the author's real name loom large in the text, while those of other characters have been disguised to "protect their privacy." It's like having a garden hose pipe with a bend in the middle, the narrative flow is blocked because one is in two minds whether the blokes Mr White is clutching to his chest, are the real McCoy, or simply figments of a fertile imagination.
Of course, readers who simply want a print extension of White's, the Joy of Gay Sex (my copy had some scintillating pencil drawings) will find all they are looking for in The Farewell Symphony. The sex scenes leave no stone unturned when it comes to descriptive debauchery. As a gay man myself who also once indulged, it brought back many memories.
But White's narrative is meant for a wider audience, so between the sex scenes the narrator's family features, and since they are obviously not figments of his imagination (most of us have fathers, mothers, etc,) these passages feel like reality.
Somewhere between and betwixt is a coherent, engaging something about the lives led and friendships formed by gay men who made their names, and sometimes fortunes, in the arts - the gay writers, editors, publishers, artists, actors, composers, etc, who formed part of White's milieu. Attached to these men were their sex partners, often younger, sometimes strangers, and usually discarded when they'd served their purpose.
And since White is sensitive to mood, character, history, and revolution, his "novel" will rest on the shelves of bookcases up there with Dickens and Jane Austen.
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Hi and welcome to ciao! That was a nice first review and very descriptive in terms of your opinion. The only thing I would suggest is to include a little more detail on where you can purchase the book from and at what price and perhaps even a little more about the author. Other than that, great! Eleanor x