Jack Holmes and His Friend

Jack Holmes and His Friend Jack Holmes and Will Wright arrive in New York in the calm before the storm of the s Coworkers at a cultural journal they soon become good friends Jack even introduces Will to the woman he will m

  • Title: Jack Holmes and His Friend
  • Author: Edmund White
  • ISBN: 9781408805794
  • Page: 277
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Jack Holmes and Will Wright arrive in New York in the calm before the storm of the 1960s Coworkers at a cultural journal, they soon become good friends Jack even introduces Will to the woman he will marry But their friendship is complicated Jack is also in love with Will Troubled by his subversive longings, Jack sees a psychiatrist and dates a few women, while also puJack Holmes and Will Wright arrive in New York in the calm before the storm of the 1960s Coworkers at a cultural journal, they soon become good friends Jack even introduces Will to the woman he will marry But their friendship is complicated Jack is also in love with Will Troubled by his subversive longings, Jack sees a psychiatrist and dates a few women, while also pursuing short lived liaisons with other men But in the two decades of their friendship, from the first stirrings of gay liberation through the catastrophe of AIDS, Jack remains devoted to Will And as Will embraces his heterosexual sensuality, nearly destroying his marriage, the two men share a newfound libertinism in a city that is itself embracing its freedom Moving among beautifully delineated characters in a variety of social milieus, Edmund White brings narrative daring and an exquisite sense of life s submerged drama to this masterful exploration of friendship, sexuality, and sensibility during a watershed moment in history.

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      Published :2018-09-23T17:10:40+00:00

    1 thought on “Jack Holmes and His Friend”

    1. 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, [...]

    2. Edmund White can be an elegant writer. But this book is not. Essentially the story of two friends --- Jack Holmes and Will Wright --who come to New York in the 1960's, the novel seems to drift along, like the two guys. Jack Holmes writes for a newsmagazine. He has a passion for Will that's talked about and talked about. Nothing happens. He also has a large penis, which White mentions almost every other page. (OK. I'm exaggerating, but not by much). What's the point? I don't know. Will, a failed [...]

    3. The loneliest I ever felt - and there is a big difference between being lonely and being alone - is when i moved to Washington D.C. for my first job after college.Except for one family friend, I didnt' know anyone there. It was a changing point in my life because it tested me in many ways. It tested me on how to be self sufficient when no one is around to help, it tested me on how to make friends even when most people you met seemed to have an established core group already, and it tested me on [...]

    4. If you are a fan of Edmund White, I would recommend you skip his latest, "Jack Holmes and His Friend". Disappointing on many levels, but most notably for the fact that the main characters are so unlikable. Sadly, for an author who has written so eloquently about gay life in New York ("The Farewell Symphony") and gay liberation in general, White has missed with these two characters. Not even entertainingly unlikable; Jack, I'm afraid, is just another dull boy.

    5. I was not aware of this book or author until a few weeks ago. I, by chance, came across a John Irving interview in which he recommended a few novels — Jack Holmes and His Friend among them. I decided to take a chance.White’s narrative of unrequited love (of the gay, straight and intersectional varieties) and coming of age in the Big Apple is as poignant and elegant as any I’ve read; Jack and Will’s friendship is one of real density and weight, and is sure to break the reader’s heart be [...]

    6. I'm usually driven by plot even in literary fiction, but I have to admit that I was struck by the quality of writing on a number of occasions while reading this book. I've read a number of White novels, and at times find him a bit 'hit or miss', but in this case he definitely was successful, in my opinion, in capturing the lives of both gay and straight NYC in the latter half of the 20th century through the relationships portrayed within the novel. Will encourage me to return to other novels tha [...]

    7. Edmund White's new novel is a surprising departure for the famous author of many gay-themed books. Much of Jack Holmes and His Friend is told first-person by an unswervingly straight man, Will. It is complete with all the details of his sex life with women, his role as a married father, his various mistresses, and his queasy unfocused homophobia. This is not what I expected from White and I wonder what his motivation was? Maybe to prove he can write about red-blooded heterosexuality with ease an [...]

    8. This is the 7th novel I've read by Mr. White and I consider him one of the premier gay male writers of his generation. His writing style can be somewhat wordy, but in this latest book, I found his writing to be easy and not as complicated. As with many of his works, it's set in New York and centers around the friendship and fascination that Jack Holmes has with a straight male friend. White uses a technique that I haven't seen from him before in that the first and third part of the novel is writ [...]

    9. Set in 1960s New York, this novel builds up around the friendship of two men, Jack and Will, the former gay and in love with his straight friend. Their friendship with each other and relationships with others are the focal point through which the author explores themes of promiscuity, infidelity, gay life in the city at that time, homophobia, and more. While objectively interesting as a study of a trainwreck of personalities and interpersonal relationships, I just found the characters (every sin [...]

    10. I've always been ambivalent about Edmund White. I'm afraid, for me at least, there is a conceit about his characters, and the authorial tone, that is off-putting and slightly arrogant. I found the characters here to be self-absorbed and uninviting to care for. That said, it's always interesting, at the very least, to read serious fiction by and about gay men.

    11. Very disappointing. It felt like an old manuscript pulled from a trunk and revised. White's nonfiction memoir, City Boy, covers the same subject matter, but more authentically and engagingly.

    12. In Jack Holmes, Edmund White approaches 20th century homosexuality differently from his previous works. Although the novel's namesake is homosexual, White's focus and most intimate psychological explorations deal with Will Wright, Jack Holmes’ straight object of desire. Although the novel's central theme is homosexuality, White approaches it through the eyes of a straight male. Through characterization and the juxtaposition of Jack and Will, White questions the nature of sexual orientation and [...]

    13. No matter what your sexual orientation, if you’re close with someone, there is a sense of love and attraction. You may not find the person sexually attractive, but you understand why others would, and there is something about this person’s aura, intelligence, company, personality, need, something…that makes you fall in love.Edmund White has written a novel about whether a gay man and a straight man can be close friends. In that sense this book is a little odd, because of course they can! B [...]

    14. Attraction and attachment and the bond of friendshipThe lives of two men interwoven by friendship and love jump off the page of Edmund White’s unaffected and wholly effective new story “Jack Homes & His Friend.” The friends are Jack Holmes and Will Wright, one gay the other straight. They meet in New York in the early 60s, then a place that “sometimes felt like a rusting but still functioning factory built by a giant,” and during a time social and sexual mores are offering new free [...]

    15. This is my first Edmund White book and I was thoroughly impressed.This delicious novel is set in 1960s New York. Jack Holmes is ashamed of his sexuality and tries to rid himself of unwanted yearnings through women and therapists. All that changes when Will Wright enters his life and Jack falls head over heels in love with his new straight friend. So begins a lifelong friendship between a straight man and his gay friend. This book was extremely sexual and did not shy away from the realities of ga [...]

    16. This starts out much better than it ends up. Jack Holmes' gay awakening in the sixties is literature mixed with pornography at its finest, complete with ridiculous misapprehensions such as the suggestion that the protagonist was doomed to homosexuality because of his abnormally large penis. It's when we meet Jack Holmes' friend that the novel begins to fall apart, because we eventually shift to Will Wright's perspective full time.When Will Wright isn't designed Sim games, he's judging gay people [...]

    17. It seems White knows a thing about the unjust circumstances of a best friend falling in love with his. To be sure, sex drives this novel. The possibility alone drives the reader through each chapter, anticipating, cheering for the protagonist. Though instead melancholy pervades long enough to make the story feel real, but is soon encouraged away by the pace of more anticipation. We follow two handsome men through what is surely thirty years of friendship and isolation in New York City. White's a [...]

    18. I've been a fan of Edmund White ever since reading A Boy's Own Story years ago. I was excited to read a new work by him, and at first I very much liked this new novel, which begins in the point of view of Jack, a college student conflicted about his sexuality. But about halfway through the book shifts to the perspective of his friend, Will, and at that point the book deflates, simply because the voice is no longer artful; Will's sections are written in the 1st person, and though Will is supposed [...]

    19. This was a lovely, sad, austere novel. The book is almost 400 pages, yet it felt spare and elegant - always a sign of a talented author and good editor. White writes with a sort of sexual realism, and the parallels between his style and Roth's jumped out at me throughout the novel. That said, there was something pleasantly straightforward and old fashioned about White's prose that is so much pleasing to me than Roth's. As a woman, I enjoyed the sense of voyeurism I got from reading a book that i [...]

    20. If I had to only one word to describe this it would be 'alien'. Not because of the homosexuality but because of the Americanism. Much of the time I wondered if it wasn't intended to be tongue in cheek, an exaggeration of all that I, as a Brit, find least appealing about Americans - the preoccupation with appearance, with self-fulfilment (at all levels) and the matter-of-fact reliance on therapists. One reference, intended as an example of Jack's many virtues, to him having three big green plants [...]

    21. Five things about Jack Holmes and His Friend by Edmund White:1. There were probably more descriptions of scrotums than I needed but hey, we’re all adults.2. I picked up this book because I read an interview (years ago) with John Irving who said it was the book he was currently reading (and enjoying).3. The characters are Irvingesque* – they’re a little odd, a little eccentric and they’re trying to be ‘normal’.4. The ‘friend’, Will, is real pain.5. There was a lovely opportunity f [...]

    22. Loved the beginning but then it felt flat - a cartoonish romp through New York of the 60s (closeted gay men!), 70s (orgies!) and 80s (AIDS!). How many times must Jack's big penis have been mentioned? The ubiquitous racism (getting the clap from the black delivery boy, only black women enjoy sex etc) was also off putting. Worst was how boring Will was - I found it totally unconvincing that he should have been the subject of a 30+ year obsession. Yawn.

    23. another case where I'm longing for half stars. this one would be 2.5. It's a fairly entertaining look at a gay/hetero friendship but White's straight character is so unlikeable and boorish--even though I'm not sure White meant him to be. I think he's uncomfortable with Will (the man in question) and whether it's social or sexual scenes, they are not believable or engaging. The gay protagonist works much more credibly but that's not enough to carry the whole book.

    24. About half way through and thoroughly enjoying it. It just switched from third person to first. Describes life in NYC about 20 years before I lived there. Plus ca change,

    25. Some time during the mid-80s, I read A Boy’s Own Story, one of Edmund White’s better-known novels. I liked it, so later read a couple of others by the author; books I also enjoyed. So, when I began to read this novel, I expected to like it. However, I was disappointed. I thought the premise interesting, but the language pretentious and forced. Edmund White was born in Cincinnati in 1940, but spent most of his boyhood in Evanston, Illinois, and a boarding school in Michigan. After receiving a [...]

    26. Edmund White is so easy to read; I always finish his books in a third the time of others. I usually like his characters too, but not so much this time out. What we have are two New Yorkers, one gay and in love with his straight friend. The gay guy does whatever he can to accommodate the straight one in his hedonistic pursuits. Altogether they seem a pretty superficial duo, doing lots of superficial New York things like having tons of lovers, eating at all the right places and knowing all the rig [...]

    27. Jack Holmes And His Friend Retro Revibe or Coming Attractions?________________________________________________________In White’s Jack Holmes a classic ‘Closet Case’ does the wishy washy. Edmund White one of the so called ‘Gay Communities’ worthwhile celebrities just happens to be a very fine writer. Now a tad older he puts his pedal to the mettle with this lethargic look at a white gay man in America during those ‘fit me in’ years for gay men.White’s new book comes about at a tim [...]

    28. This book left me confused. I'm not sure who Jack actually is, or is that the point? I can relate to fluidity, duality, transience - but in the end I'm left feeling Jack's journey is ultimately about status. Or is that just where life took him? I'm a bit disappointed about him ending up sort of, slightly, almost, not quite there. Maybe the book is a masterpiece in evoking all of these questions in me? Like I said, I'm confused.

    29. I hate to reduce this to Gay Mad Men-era tale but that really so bad? I was invested in the characters and the story arc. As a New Yorker I loved the nyc details of the 60s and 70s d the evolution of the gay lifestyle (incognito and, slowly, more openly). In the end if you don’t care about the characters it’s not worth it. And this is worth it.

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