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Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir Paperback – June 1, 1998


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Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir + The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive + Auschwitz: True Tales From a Grotesque Land
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156005816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156005814
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Wrenching in its detail, this account of the author's final two years with his companion Roger Horwitz, who died of AIDS in 1986, personalizes the epidemic's appalling statistics with heartbreaking clarity," wrote PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Paul Monette is a part of the first generation to suffer from AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. His friend, Roger Horwitz, died after a long battle with the virus. Monette gave his courage, strength, and love as he helped his friend fight this battle. Borrowed Time is the story of the AIDS roller coaster. The book was highly publicized and well-received in 1988. On tape, Monette's interpretation is heartfelt, for he is not reading, he is reliving his pain. We hear spirits rise with optimism and then anger and frustration cut through his words. Borrowed Time becomes part of Monette's mourning process, but it also serves to bring the AIDS crisis to a human level in a time when much of the available material is cold and clinical. Recommended.
- Debbie Gumulauski, Lake Cty. P.L., Merrillville, Ind.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Borrowed time is a love story to Paul Monette;s longtime companion.
Stephanie N. Gomez
I read Monette's book first in 98 when it was published, 13 years and one country later, it was still on my mind, and I had to have a copy of my own for the house .
Mark L. Blei
Anyone who wants to understand what the beginning of this epidemic was like, and how much was lost in those first years must read this book.
Terrance H. Heath

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I can add nothing original to the wave of praises about this book from the other reviewers. I really appreciated the honesty of his narration, even down to the minute and unpleasant thoughts of what could have happened (or who gave the virus to whom). Though his opinions on his lover may be biased, both of them you felt intensely likeable. It's very hard not to--both of them are obviously intelligent and talented, led interesting lives and have friends just as colourful.
As gutwrenching as the AIDS shadowed over Roger's deterioration, the book read like a love story to me. Not just the love between Roger and Paul, which doesn't remind me of them being gay in particular, but two people with a long term relationship who struggle to be together till death do them apart, as cliche as it may sound.
As a Chinese gay man living in Hong Kong, I find the notion of my parents/relatives knowing about my identity, let alone my lover or even 'worse', a sickness, impossible. Yet, the book also showed poignantly the unconditional love and care any parents are willing to give to their children, no matter how grown up or far apart they have become.
Paul Monette has certainly spoken for a lot of HIV+ people in his era, people who never had a chance to speak for themselves. Most people would not have time or the nerve to write about something as horrible as their own illnesses.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Redheadpolyglot on July 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
I don't live under a rock but even still, being a gay male in the 90s, I can honestly say I don't know anyone with AIDS. Consequently, I have never had to endure the loss of losing someone I love to the disease without a cure. Yet I still found myself drawn to Paul's story about his struggle with the deterioration of his partner, Roger. After reading Becoming a Man, I progressed to this part of Paul's autobiography, expecting it to be much like the other part of the story. However, it wasn't. Not at all. The book introduced the tragedy of what occurs when good people experience horrid things. I couldn't believe Roger was actually dying throughout the book. He and Paul seemed so happy together; they had finally proven to the world that they, a gay couple, could survive in American society. Then the disease hit. What a loss, even with the AZT treatment, even with the constant barrage of doctor's appointments. I suppose this book made me aware that life, like I had heard so many times before, is not fair. If it were Roger would not have died and Paul would not have followed him seven years later.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frank Cunat on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Paul Monette in this book describes in harrowing detail the final months in the life of his lover Roger, and how Roger's deterioration affected both men and their relationship. The depth of feeling Monette conveys is remarkable; he writes with a candor and a beauty that bring tears to your eyes. We share Monette's sense of pain and loss. If you've ever known anyone with a terminal illness, this book is devastating, and even if you haven't, there's no way you can remain unmoved.
People sometimes ask how it felt to be a gay man in the 1980s while the spread of AIDS was running unchecked. This powerful book gives the best answer I can imagine.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "bradleyic" on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I sat down reading this book, not knowing much about the AIDS epidemic or who was affected. What I learned in Monette's book is not just about suffering and losing a "friend", but also the battles and stuggles that we must carry on after. His prose was very fluid and he never lacked for words or descriptions to describe his feelings and what was going on in his life. It's not just another, poor me my lover died. Instead it's a tribute not only to his life, but allows the reader to glimpe the compassion and depth of his love. It also gets down to the nitty gritty and tells things like they are. And I cried my eyes out at the end, not wanting to turn that last page...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JackOfMostTrades VINE VOICE on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
I listened to Paul Monette read from his memoir on a recorded book; and the experience was unforgettable, profound, wholly human, and perhaps the best meditation on love I've ever read. Without going into the details of the 1980's AIDS "scene," which this book also authentically and accurately portrays, this "love story" depicts and explored and revealed so tenderly and so poetically that it should be placed on all the bookstores in the relatinship section of the major chains--and recommended for straight and gay couples. And while the booksellers are at it, they should remainder all the John Gray, Dr. Phil and every other "author" who address relationships in a vapid, moronic, demeaning way. This book may be the best argument for "gay marriage," although I hesitate in recommending this in fear that such a beautiful relationship as portrayed in this work could be subsumed under such a shaky institution. It would also be a d_mn good book for heterosexual, especially "conservative Christian" couples, men and women to read together: Not necessarily to change minds about the law, but at least to change misconceived perceptions about their fellow humans. And a note to women, if you would like your guy to be a better "listener" and a better "lover," read this book--not those goofball "women's magazines." This book might also make some right-wing ideologues re-think some of their kneeejerk definitions of "values" and realize that perhaps it is their values that need some looking into, or as peanuts said, "We have met the enemy and it is us."
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