The married man

by Edmund White

Paper Book, 2000




London : Chatto & Windus, 2000.


A middle-aged American works out in a Paris Gym - an ordinary day, except that he catches the eye of a stranger. Wary and on the rebound from a bruising affair, he thinks nothing will come of this. Yet slowly, life takes on the colour of romance.

User reviews

LibraryThing member DanDanRevolution
Uninspiring prose layered onto weak plot and thin characters create a near nauseating tale of early nineties AIDS-related gloom.
LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
I found reviews that raved about this being one of White's most vibrant and beautifully written novels, but if that is true, I'm not sure how he's managed such a successful career. For me, this was a dull and depressing book with flat writing and characters that varied from being flat to unlikable
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to simply boring. One of the reviews of White's work labels him as "our most influential chronicler of gay life", and perhaps that is true since I certainly don't know the reach of his influence--I do know that this is one of the last books I'd recommend for someone looking into novels that "chronicle gay life". So many other authors come to mind--Paul Monette for one, if we're looking for a prolific author--that makes this work (and writing) pale in comparison.

Simply, I wouldn't ever find myself in a position to recommend this work. If I hadn't been determined to finish it, I never would have made it pas the first hundred pages. I grant that the book picked up pace in the second half, but the lackluster and seemingly wandering ending took away any momentum or worth that I might have begun to see along the way. In the end, for me, this just wasn't worth the time, and I saw nothing here that hasn't been done more gracefully and smartly elsewhere.
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LibraryThing member anderlawlor
i enjoyed this novel because edmund white is such a beautiful writer and it bothered me at points because the class stuff seems so unconscious but upon reflection i may have misread it. if you want a well-written gay book, white's always a go-to guy.

if you want it, email me & i'll mail it to
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LibraryThing member dbsovereign
Whew - what a VERY depressing book this is! Especially if you know or have known anyone who died of the plague (HIV/AIDS). White chronicles, in unstinting detail, the gradual decline and painful death of the character who happens to have been a married man (who becomes the lover of the central
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character). Dying people are not usually happy and they tend to not be very pleasant to be around - especially when they are in pain - so this tale is just downright excruciating most of the time. Warning: this is an especially graphic novel.
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