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Easy Way Out Paperback – July 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Thus. edition (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671787381
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671787387
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,320,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This heartbreaking book eloquently depicts the compromises that lovers and families make to keep relationships alive.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The author of The Object of My Affection ( LJ 3/1/87) returns with an amusing, eccentric collection of dysfunctional middle-class Bostonians. Patrick O'Neil's relationship with lover Arthur "had developed into the kind of benign domestic dependency that takes love for granted and accepts as inevitable a certain level of boredom, discontent and suppressed rage." As the rather predictable plot develops, Patrick's yuppie brother Tony avoids marriage to his childhood sweetheart by having a last fling, and other brother Ryan, recently divorced, feels lonely. Mother and Father O'Neil snipe constantly at their discontented offspring; interactions among the clan make for lots of bitchy lines and great characterizations. Good for expanding gay fiction collections, but not a necessary purchase.
- Kevin M. Roddy, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo Lib.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I assure you that this book will keep you entertained with every turn of the page.
"cofie"
I was a bit disappointed in The Easy Way Out, as the characters aren't really likeable, and their situations are somewhat self-inflicted.
Curtis
He develops his unique use of dialogue to telegraph traits the characters themselves are unaware of and create recognizable personalities.
disco75

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert S Michaels on November 18, 1996
Format: Paperback
Why is it that every book I love lately seems to be written by a wildly locked, mischevous looking late 20s/early 30s individual? David Foster Wallace, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen.... and now Stephen McCauley. For me, The Easy Way Out was one of those books that brought with it a certain amount of sorrow when I had finished it. I could never have the experience of reading it for the first time again! By delving into the lives of Patrick's bitterly married parents, his recently separated brother Ryan, his player brother Tony, his live-in lover Arthur, his non-live-in lover Jeffrey, and his best friend and travel agent extraordinaire, Sharon, McCauley manages to show not only the irony and hipocrisy of our actions but also highlight the love that runs through the bunch regardlessly. This is an author who capital R respects his characters, allowing them to only move by their agendas, never the author's. What also struck me about this book is that in dealing with a tale focused around the best way to deal with the truth, McCauley doesn't take the easy way out (pun intended) and write a coming-out story. One of those books that you'll insist everyone you know must read
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By disco75 on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
While this book may not have the romantic appeal of the accessible "Object Of My Affection," it does show a more astute psychological intuition and more sophisticated humor. McCauley continues with his theme of examining the ways in which our lives are shaped and contorted by our ambivalent desires. He develops his unique use of dialogue to telegraph traits the characters themselves are unaware of and create recognizable personalities. His humor is character- and situation- based, undergirded by the bittersweet, even melancholy mood felt in all his books. It is an unusually nuanced and insightful exploration of family dynamics and the complexities of adult romantic relationships. I believe it is one of the strongest examples of contemporary fiction and perhaps the best example of the growing "gay literature."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By letters2mary on November 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Something in McCauley's style makes reading him seem like getting caught up with an old friend. I find myself muttering to myself, "Oh, yes, they were always like that!" and..."Yes, that's true," and "Well, what did you think would happen?" This capacity for engaging story telling and the nuanced detail of everyday life should not be underestimated, speaking as it does to the place where most of us live, where notwithstanding our best efforts (or, worse yet, perhaps because of them), love eludes and lust deceives. Yet we keep trying. And reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
One of the funniest books, I have ever stumbled upon. I keep picking it up again and again to re-read my favorite parts. McCauley's descriptions of situations are delivered with a wry and sardonic wit, that leaves you laughing and sad at the same time. A true gem, I cannot even lend it out, because I am unable to part with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Stephen McCauley is absolutely hysterical. He has effectively captured and written what people think but don't articulate. The characters are life-like. I missed them by the time I was finished. I've read all of Stephen's books and 'The Easy Way Out' is my favorite- at least until his fourth book is released.
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Format: Paperback
I read this novel for my own pleasure. I did not look for structure or any literary values, as I am a fairly critical reader. I just laughed. Your recognize a book as a long lost friend or a friend you wished you had and it was like this for me reading the first line from "The Easy Way Out." Patrick became a friend as I followed the stress, the indecisions, the ups and downs of his life. His problems became my own. I had to also decide whether he should stay with Arthur and I had similar vicissitudes when I asked myself if I would have stayed in this relationship. This book was thoroughly enjoyable and it felt like I took a vacation somewhere too and gathered up my life. It's fun to just read and I am looking forward to Stephen's other novels. Have you seen "The Object of My Affection?" Great screenplay!
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Format: Paperback
When I began this book, I didn't know if it was for me. As a straight female, I thought....oh..I'm not sure about this one! But let me tell you, I LOVED this book. I'm an avid reader and this is the first book in a long time that made me want to contact the author (I wish authors listed their email adresses....hint.hint.) It was just a delight. I found the charactars very real, vulnerable, flawed and funny. Over and over I laughed out loud. THAT is a compliment. As a smoker, I have to love a book that warmly portrays a smoking fiend. How refreshing! I would recommend this to anyone that is in the mood for a book about love, life and the hilarity of everyday existance.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wanda B. Red VINE VOICE on January 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I admire the novels of Stephen Macauley, and I had a good time reading this very human book. Macauley is especially good at dialogue -- more accurately repartee. He has a finely tuned ironic ear. Unfortunately, all the characters sound the same -- all versions of the sharp, sophisticated, but increasingly disillusioned narrator. That's okay because I enjoyed the narrator, but I did not by the end of the book have the sense of having truly entered into a fully realized fictional world. The characters were broadly drawn and remained flat. Despite the novel's urbane, world-weary manner, it feels oddly naive, even innocent, Macauley practicing for later books, perhaps a little drained by the recent success of "The Object of My Affection."

Adding to that feeling of innocence is the novel's setting. Because it concerns the travel industry and was published in the early 90s (before 911 and more and more advanced technology revolutionized that business), it is charmingly dated. I found that to be a fascinating aspect of the book. One of the central characters, who manages a travel agency, blithely forges boarding passes. Another character waits at Logan airport for an incoming flight in a lounge right at the gate. "The Easy Way Out" offers a window back to a more innocent time, and reminds us that it wasn't very long ago.
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