Almost Like Being in Love
Steve Kluger
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Buy *Almost Like Being in Love* online

Almost Like Being in Love

Steve Kluger
368 pages
May 2004
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

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This is the coming-of-gay tale of a high school athletic champ and the proverbial nerd. Rather than being related through straight prose, the author utilizes a variety of devices including normal narrative, checklists, letters, clippings, diary entries, and the like. A valiant effort, but still, this reads like a bad Harold Robbins novel, rife with cliches and overblown emotions and patently obvious boy-meets-boy encounters.

Author Kluger's central figures, Travis and Craig, appear one-dimensional and respond in such studied and obvious repartee, that you, the reader, had better be a monstrous fan of this genre or you'll put it down after the first page. This pair do little more than evolve from simple flirting to sharing the same bed, and these sequences are revealed in such asexual and over-the-top blue jargon that there is little stimulated beyond the desire to see how quickly this book burns.

These various mechanisms - lists and letters and calendars - leave the reader once removed from the seemingly intense passion the writer is attempting to convey. John Rechy and William Burroughs both wrote about the feelings that pass between men, and in their hands one is confronted with the fragility of the human psyche and the timidity of a world willing to accept such a union. Here, all you get are playful hickies and the writing of a boy's name ad infinitum on your three-ring binder notebook. There is nothing humorous about this book, no carefully constructed dialogue meant to extract a big laugh.

In fact, the only really funny thing about it is that it ever found its way to a publisher in the first place. That's hilarious...

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2004

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