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Finding the Boyfriend Within: A Practical Guide for Tapping into your own Scource of Love, Happiness, and Respect Paperback – May 7, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (May 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743225309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743225304
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Brad Gooch's take on the self-help genre is a self-described gay updating of Helen Gurley Brown's Sex and the Single Girl, and it's a sensible, straightforward--and welcome--addition to the field. Who is the Boyfriend Within? Simply put, he embodies "qualities we find attractive in ourselves but often imagine others to possess more fully, as well as ... dormant qualities we wish to nurture and grow." This growth process takes place through 16 "Awareness Exercises" that range from identifying the behavior patterns that might be keeping you from having a boyfriend to planning dates with your Boyfriend Within. (And before you crack any jokes, he really does mean dates--be they quiet evenings at home, neighborhood walks, shopping trips, or other activities.) Gooch's own inner boyfriend is a bit like a male version of Midge, the Barbara Bel Geddes character in Vertigo, a constant (but not flashy) source of "sanity, peace, happiness." But, he emphasizes, that's just his own--the love of your inner life may turn out to be completely different. The exercises in Finding the Boyfriend Within hold great promise for fostering self-knowledge and the cultivation of one's goals, not just in romance but in all aspects of life. --Ron Hogan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In this guide for gay men searching for greater self-acceptance, Gooch genially advises readers to live every day as if they were expecting to entertain a dream lover for tea or dinner. The unkempt house, long a symbol of the bachelor, is a sign that the "inner boyfriend" is neglected. Gooch is not a psychologist. His credentials are based on having hashed out his own failed relationships and those of his friends over many brunches. Influenced in addition by therapy, his experiences in ashrams, the work of such authors as Rilke, Thomas Merton, Marianne Williamson and the Sufi poet Rumi, Gooch offers reflections on his own experience and linked "awareness exercises" that are meant to strengthen the reader's relationship with himself. In recommending what amounts to an automatic writing excercise, Gooch asks the reader to invoke his inner voice to learn the answers to recurring questions that may cause him pain (e.g., "Why don't I have a boyfriend?"). Other exercises suggest listing neurotic behaviors and "attractive qualities of the 'package' that is you." While Gooch may be given to unreflective acceptance of the prevailing gay cultural standards of physical perfection and an ideal lifestyle, his good-natured advice won't steer anyone wrong. Agent, Joy Harris. Author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It'll sound like you've really tested this stuff out.
Bill Johnston
Just in case he reads this (which I have little doubt he will), he WAS attractive, but, as anyone who read the book can attest, he can tell you that.
bjacobs773@aol.com
Before you buy this book, I advise that you skim through it and check out the number of times the author uses the pronoun "I" .
Cary Fort

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When I first found this book I had recently broken up with my boyfriend. This book, I thought, sounded like something that would help me over those post-relationship blues. Well, it did alright! I was too busy alternating between groaning at all the little "cutesy-isms" in the book, complaining at the over-simplifications and being generally angry about the number of trees that were chopped down to print the book. Frankly, it reads like a Cosmopolitan article in which the genders have been changed and pages of useless padding added. This book has about as much relevance to being gay as a paint-by-numbers set has to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jay on September 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book with an open-mind...yet my mind was forced to wander by about the second chapter where he endlessly talks about all of his "friends" in Upper Manhattan.
I think Gooch wrote this book to make himself feel better about himself! I didn't really leave with anything substantial to take away other than the fact that Gooch likes to eat at fine restaurants in New York, and likes lit candles near his bed. Is this a book or a dating ad?!!
I think the endless self-absorption in this book would also be a turn-off for future boyfriends (of the people who read this book).
Maybe the problem isn't necessarily one not knowing what our "inner boyfriend" wants, but concentrating too much on that entity.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By bjacobs773@aol.com on September 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I read FBW as a lark--after having met Brad Gooch at a bar and then going on a dinner date with him while visiting NYC last fall. At dinner, we talked about his upcoming book, its premise, his recent bookcover "photo shoot", etc. Never once did Gooch ask me a question about myself. Now I read his book and understand why. It is as pleasant, shallow, narcissistic and self-absorbed as I found him to be. Just in case he reads this (which I have little doubt he will), he WAS attractive, but, as anyone who read the book can attest, he can tell you that.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Readers interested in a self-help book for gay men might be better off looking at "How to Survive Your Own Gay Life." I can only repeat what others have said about the book's vacuousness, narcissism, and lack of depth. The author and his boyfriend within deserve each other.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By BC on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Awareness Exercise #1: You are about to meet the man you don't want in your life. Mr. Gooch is the perfect model of the man you DON'T want to meet. Just as in real life, the cover was attractive and the pages were shallow. What a disappointment.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was intrigued by this book; at first I read a couple pages then put it down. Something about the book stuck in my mind and I returned 2 days later to purchase it. I was surprised that Brad writes of finding self-esteem and self-love so late in life (at 45 years old); however, better late than never. He reviews his dysfunctional thinking and lifestyle; then gives the reader a detailed story of how he discovered his dysfunctionalism and strived for a happy life filled with self-love, respect, and happiness. I was not impressed with the fact that he took so long to find inner happiness - AND this fact alone almost made me throw the book away; I mean, if he lived the dysfunctional life he describes in the book, why would I want to read his material. HOWEVER, I was very IMPRESSED with his 16 exercises, which alone are worth reading the book. I found these exercises lead the reader to "focus" on his "life and priorities". I am currently doing the first exercise (I read the entire book first) and it is very self-revealing. I would strongly suggest that Brad Gooch please listen to "In the Meantime" by Iyanla Vanzant" - this will help him along his road to happiness, love, and self-respect. Thanks Brad for a Gay Version of self-help. I could definitely relate to SOME of the things he wrote about, especially about the chaos with a messy house. Ciao!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anthony W. Skaggs on July 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Brad Gooch's "Finding the Boyfriend Within" is a huge disappointment.The text is badly organized and the style is rambling and beyond narcissistic. After reading it and performing all the little exercises, you're likely to find all you've got is a legal pad filled with various colored lists itemizing good and bad points about yourself.High school guidance counselor stuff really. The whole premise of the book is a canard...after applying the "FBW" technique to himself, all Gooch seems to have achieved is the ability to pamper himself a bit more than he already has. The book is overloaded with self-serving references to his fabulous good taste in brand-name merchandise. My favorite nugget of Gooch wisdom is on page 108.It's his advice on how to combat loneliness (while walking about town): "...take out my cellphone and line up a date...make dates until sated." Gooch assures us that modesty is not on his list of qualities, good or bad. After this book, I hope he adds hubris.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cary Fort on July 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am Sorry to say that I was extremely disappointed in this book. I thought perhaps (in part, based on some of the opinions here) that this might be a book that is down to earth, practical and light-hearted. Wrong!!! This is a shameless exercise in ego and self-promotion.
Before you buy this book, I advise that you skim through it and check out the number of times the author uses the pronoun "I" . Then check to see what his values are, what he thinks is important in life. Whew! What's truly unbelievable is that the author is in his 40s and still is concerned about going to the movies alone. Hmmm....
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More About the Author

Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara, City Poet, as well as Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, along with other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.