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August Farewell: The Last Sixteen Days of a Thirty-Three-Year Romance Paperback – January 21, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (January 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450286364
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450286367
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,576,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David G. Hallman worked in environmental ethics and has written six nonfiction books, including his memoir, August Farewell, in which vignettes from his thirty-three-year relationship with his gay partner are integrated into an intimate chronology of the final two weeks of his partner's life. He lives in Toronto.

Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
What a wonderful tribute Hallman has written to the life and love that he and Bill shared.
AspenPainter
Yet for all the tragedy implied -- and, yes, I wept a good deal -- my journey was lifted by Hallman's very exquisite detail of a full life.
BobinExile
It should open up lines of communication about life, death and how to tackle it gracefully, compassionately and with love.
Hans Hirschi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory G. Allen on July 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This beautifully written memoir is careful to show the love of this thirty-three year relationship and not just the angst of watching someone die. Hallman has done a wonderful job of interspersing memories of trips (painted wonderfully with description) so the reader can get to know these two main 'characters' even though we are well aware of the outcome from the onset. The testament to the longevity and love of this gay couple goes a long way to show that 'marriage' does not know gender. My partner and I (only together 11 years - a third of David & Bill) have traveled extensively as well and I enjoyed the portions as I reminisced about my own life as Hallman displayed their shared moments together before those final days in August. I cannot imagine planning out my spouse's service as he did while tending to and caring for Bill with an unconditional love that allowed his soul-mate such dignity in death. Sharing these private moments with others may just aid in the relief that someone reading this book could need; displaying once again how giving this author truly is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dmp2860 on November 4, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Definitely 5 stars! What a wonderful love story...yes if you read the overview you will know the ending...but there is so much love and passion between the first and last chapter. We often refer to books as "couldn't put it down"...however, for me August Farewell was one that I had to put down often, and reflect upon the content and my life - will I be able to look back upon my life having experienced the same love and passion for live as did David and Bill. At times you feel like you are eavesdropping, but in a good way. This definitely should be a must-read for all young gay couples...you can live a passionate, fulfilled life as a gay couple. Thank you David, for sharing you and Bill with us...we are better for having known a you for a bit. While I am sure the loss is great, I hope the many wonderful memories hold you warm and tight at night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Hagburg on September 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bill is smiling... A well written love story about a life cut short with pancreatic cancer. Thanks to his devoted partner (the author), Bill's footprints on earth will forever be visible. Although a death occurs, it's really about two lives well lived. David Hallman generously allows the reader to take a trip around the world with him. The Journey is oozing with music, art, and life appreciation. By the time you finish reading, you will know Bill Conklin and David Hallman personally. If you loved "Philadelphia" you won't be able to put this one down. If you've ever loved or lost someone, you must take this journey with Bill and David. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Kathleen Hagburg
co-author of Getting Into The Zone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JackAUrquhart on September 7, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Toronto-based writer David G. Hallman's beautifully rendered memoir, August Farewell, appropriately subtitled, "The Last Sixteen Days of a Thirty-three Year Romance", deserves honorable mention in the pantheon of memoirists whose writing documents the heart-rending loss of a beloved spouse. Reminiscent of Paul Monette's poetic musings in Love Alone: Eighteen Elegies for Rog, and more recently, Joyce Carol Oates' A Widow's Story, Hallman's memoir captures in deceptively elegant prose the days following his long-term partner William Conklin's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and his death a mere sixteen days later on August 23, 2009.

Presented in seventeen chapters, Hallman's portrait of a loving relationship built on respect, patience, judicious compromise, and `hard-kick-under-the-table lessons' (of the kind anyone who has navigated a long-term relationship will instantly recognize) engages the reader from page one. Lovers whose passions included deeply shared spiritual beliefs, as well as social activism--both were at the forefront of the international boycott of Nestlé in the late 70s and early 80s--and an abiding love of music and travel, it isn't surprising that the two men should be closely in tune throughout the slowing-down process of Mr. Conklin's final days.

One of the most moving vignettes, captured in Chapter Eight, presents the two men in a shared devotional; as Mr. Hallman accompanies his lover on the piano through the hymn, "Breathe on Me, Breath of God," Mr. Conklin, a music teacher whose tenor voice once soared, summons from dwindling reserves the wherewithal to complete the two-line hymn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mariwinn on August 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
For what may seem to be an intimate good-bye, author David G. Hallman wants the world to share in his accounting of the last difficult days of what was once a 33-year romance. August Farewell (iUniverse, 2011) tells the story of 16 days in August 2009, advanced chapter by chapter, between Friday August 7 when his lover, previously smitten with MS was diagnosed with advantaged stage pancreatic cancer, until Sunday, Aug. 23 when Bill Conklin died.

It may be novel for many readers to be exposed to the life of two gay men. But Hallman's description of his panic over coming across as a nerd on the first date, the revelation of their "love at first sight," and how a jealous friend failed to railroad their relationship are situations not unlike any heterosexual relationship.

When they first met, Hallman describes his friend as "energetic" and "athletic," having an animal magnetism that was compelling. While he called him "Mr. Perfect," he lets the reader discover any faults--whether he displayed a "mischievous spirit" or simply was too much of a practical joker, whether his independence was a positive trait or whether his strong-willed nature lacked a bit of finesse. The reader gains glimpses into Conklin's personality each chapter as Hallman escapes the pain of witnessing his friend's diminishing capacity.

Says the author, "...I learned long ago not to interrupt Bill when in full flight, correct him in public or kick him under the table. Such gestures were always counterproductive with him, to my usual embarrassment."

Of course, Hallman does not claim to be without weaknesses not the worst of which was falling asleep while entertaining dinner guests. He also may be the one to acquiesce when challenged by his partner.
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