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Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

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Kindle, Kindle eBook, April 30, 2013
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Length: 70 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 408 KB
  • Print Length: 70 pages
  • Publisher: The Atlantic Books (April 30, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CLJAMII
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,015 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Groch on May 2, 2013
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Denial is a remarkable personal remembrance of Jonathan Rauch's internal struggles growing up a closeted gay man.
It chronicles his early childhood recognition of a secret difference, an unknowable monster in his psyche that must be hidden from both himself and the world. He describes the elaborate structure of denials, the closet, which he created and maintained until he was 25 to preserve his secret and his sanity.

Rauch documents with startling honesty and insight how the decades he spent denying his nature to himself stunted his relationships with others and distorted his understanding of the world. Spoiler alert: there is a happy ending. He also describes the process of self-discovery that let him open the closet door to become an authentic and loving self.

I think that many straight people view the coming out process differently from what it usually is. They may imagine an adolescent suddenly discovering (or choosing) to be gay, and that coming out is simply deciding when to let everyone else in on the secret. A lot of blog comments on Jason Collins recent revelations seem to support this distorted view.

Gay people are not born in closets. They painstakingly build them themselves, board by board and layer by layer as a defense against a world that would mock and humiliate them. Discovering that you are "different" and "not normal" is a frightening paralyzing thing for a kid. Many, like Rauch, become convinced that they are not only different; but are unique and alone in their struggle with a hidden monster. LGBT suicide rates underline the seriousness of this struggle.

Jonathan Rauch is 1st a great reporter and 2nd a remarkably honest and self aware man.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark in San Jose on May 3, 2013
As a straight man reading Jonathan Rauch's remarkable book I have to admit that at times I was very uncomfortable. But I'm so glad I read it. I've never encountered this degree of intelligent, self aware, and brutally honest personal narrative which at the same time is amazingly enlightening. The perspective it provides on one man's harrowing journey to knowing himself is a unique and valuable contribution. I can't imagine anyone who reads this book ever imagining that there is any "choice" in the matter. Overall an interesting and very engaging read. I highly recommend it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BayGuy on May 3, 2013
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After reading an excerpt I was 'hooked' so I downloaded this e-novella. Beautifully and intelligently written, with breathtaking clarity surrounding the experience of the struggle many of us have experienced coming to terms with our sexuality. I was particularly touched by the emphasis on sexuality as an experience of love and its relationship to one's soul/spirituality. This construct, I believe is often unappreciated or under-appreciated by individuals who perceive homosexuality to be just something relating to a sex act. Bravo!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Currie-Knight TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 19, 2013
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"[T]his is not a memoir exactly; it is an account of a syndrome whose nature was a war with and for a self" (loc. 634).

"Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul" is a story of writer Jonathan Rausch's childhood, adolescent, and young adult years and what it was like to be gay without realizing one was gay. Rausch just believed that he was either asexual (or a heterosexual whose sexual feelings were just around the corner), and - smart as Rausch was - his brain ratioanlized his obsession with men's muscles as a strange case of envy. But meanwhile, where everyone else could feel romantic love, Rausch simply believed that that he was incapable of those feelings.

The book starts during Rausch's early teens, when he realizes - just like that - that he'll probably never get married. He just doesn't have feelings toward girls. We follow Rausch through his burgeoning obsession with the male (athletic) figure and, in particular, a bodybuilding friend named Paul. It literally doesn't dawn on Rausch that he is gay, because (he says) he doesn't have sexual thoughts about boys. He rationalizes his admiration for their bodies as a sort of envy of a scrawny awkward boy of his "betters." In college, the same, and when periodic friends suggested he may be gay, he very honestly denied it (again, because homosexuality was about wanting sex with men, different from what he felt). It was only in his twenties (for reasons I'll leave you to discover) that he realized he may be - and then was - gay.

I must reiterate - per Rausch's above quote - that this is not a memoir or even a story per se; Rausch is writing a psychological account of who he - this unsuspecting gay man, obsessed with his muscular friend Paul and convinced he was just abnormal and broken - was from childhood through adulthood.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Megan J. Mcardle on May 22, 2013
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I've loved Jonathan Rauch's writing for going on twenty years, but this really floored me. Painful honesty without the least hint of self-pity or wallowing, rendered in absolutely stunning prose. Rauch's account of how he managed to fool himself about something so basic as who he found sexually attractive should be read by everyone, gay or straight. Of course it is the story of the psychological cost of being gay in a society that stigmatizes your love. But I suspect that almost everyone who reads it will look back on their own coming of age, and the painful ways we tried to edit our interior selves into something we thought would be more at home in the world. I came away with a deeper understanding, not only of what happens to gay teens, but also my own comically inept attempts to conform to what I thought was normal. I really can't recommend this book highly enough.
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