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Endangered Species: A Novel Paperback – April 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books; 1st edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555836410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555836412
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Nick Broome has the first biological clock by Timex: it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. In this queer twist on the new genre of reproductive comedy, a single gay Washingtonian in his 30s realizes that although he has a brother and a sister--both healthy, successful adults--no one in his family has made a move toward having children. The Broome genes are being swept into oblivion. Nick's brother Greg tries to compensate for the unspoken loss by arranging a dreaded annual dinner for the siblings in an ugly roadside restaurant. Even Nick's mother, who has never asked for a grandchild, remarks that there's not much point in having a big Christmas tree every year. With sudden clarity and a fetching image of Atlantic herring dropping their eggs and semen in unison, then swimming on, Nick decides to take matters into his own hands. Rejected by every sperm bank he can find, he looks in vain for a lesbian coparent, then a straight coparent, then a surrogate mother, meeting a wonderfully weird collection of similarly needy people in the process, and incidentally coming across a gorgeous bartender named Joe. Although funny, this astute and occasionally surprising second novel offers far more than a good laugh and manages to avoid almost every stereotype of gay life.--Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly

In this well-crafted second novel, Nick Broome, the youngest son of a Washington, D.C., family, is facing an existential crisis, namely, the demise of his nonprocreative clan's family name. He wants desperately to bring life into the world, envisioning a boy in a blue parka as his ideal son and even going so far as to make a deal with himself to make a baby within a year. Thirty-four-year-old Nick refuses to adopt because his lump of love must share his DNA, and the usual boy-meets-girl route is not open to him, for Nick is gay. The bulk of the novel is a whirlwind tour of the world of artificial insemination and surrogacy. Nick's breeding quest takes him behind the door of sperm banks, where posters of European towers suggest phallic exuberance; when sperm collectors reject him, Nick tries to find a surrogate mother. His ads in the newspaper and on the Internet bring in, among others, a female escort, an angry teen and the unbalanced Nattie, whose brother, Joe, Nick meets in the mental hospital where Nattie has registered herself for a tuneup. Though Joe and Nick become lovers, he continues his search for a fertile vessel. His family is dying out, Nick believes, and he's doing nothing about it. As the novel reaches its crescendo, Nick foolishly treats Joe like a son and flirts dangerously with a contract matchmaker named Lyle, eventually learning more about love and himself. Though the novel's method is at times tiresome and the humor at best tepid, Bayard manages to keep our interest in Broome's quest while teaching us a thing or two about the force that drives procreation. Regional author appearances.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ronald L. Donaghe on April 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I certainly agree that Bayard's ENDANGERED SPECIES is funny and fun to read. But the way he sketches some of his most endearing characters (like Broome's grandmother in the hospital, having to remember how to eat) is so fresh and full-bodied, I read the passage over several times; Broome's boyfriend and the on-again, off-again relationship with him is written with real sensitivity, giving depth of character to both. This is a lot deeper book than its breezy, entertaining style would suggest. It can be enjoyed on several levels. -Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Common Sons (part of the series: "Common Threads in the Life")
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book cracked me up! Very clever writing, a great pleasure to read. As a librarian, I think this book has all the elements of a good summer read and I bought 3 copies for my library. Treat yourself and have a good laugh with this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Coy A Stout II on July 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This was my second Bayard read. "Fool's Errand," my first was a book I could not put down - loved it; "Endangered Species" did not quite "do it" for me the same way. Here's why: Bayard's characters are all to real for me as a former Washingtonian... I sometimes think he's writing about folks I know (maybe so?), and the main character in this book is more like someone I would try to avoid at a cocktail party! So I put the book down halfway through, then came back and finished it a couple of weeks later. I suppose that means Bayard has once again mastered very identifiable and real-to-me characters! I hope to see more from this writer. If you've ever lived the Washington gay scene, you'll really enjoy the recognizable settings of Endagered Species and Fool's Errand.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Gabrielli on February 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
After reading Mr. Bayard's "Fool's Errand" several months ago, I was anxious to read another of his novels. I don't know why I waited so long, since I thought his first book was astonishing. Finally, I read this one, not expecting too much from it, based solely on the subject matter. I figured as a single guy, I would not be able to relate very much. I was wrong. It is such a joy to read Mr. Bayard's writing. He leaves me constantly in awe as he describes people and objects with wit and a very keen eye. And the story, too, was very much a surprise. Nice job, Mr. Bayard! You have joined the ranks of my favorite authors, beside the likes of Jim Oliver and Peter Cameron. Can't wait for your next one!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keith on July 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
Let me first say that Louis Bayard's first novel "A Fool's Errand" is one of my all time favorite books. I am sure that my friends are sick of me talking about how highly I thought of it. Of course, after they read it, then they know why I recommended it so highly. "Endangered Species" is good, and probably ten times better than most gay fiction. It was just from a personal standpoint, I couldn't relate to the main character. Don't let that stop you from reading it though.
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