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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and loss in the early days of AIDS, August 13, 2009
By 
R.J. Keller, Author (The Boonies of Maine) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
'Look Away Silence' is a beautifully written, intensely emotional novel. The characters are three dimensional and wonderfully flawed. Best of all, Patterson's narrative manages to zoom in on this tragic couple's love and life, then to zoom out on an entire hurting community, and back again without resorting to soapboxing. One word of warning: don't forget to have your tissue box handy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Away Silence - A Beautifully Written Novel, September 30, 2009
By 
This review is from: Look Away Silence (Paperback)
Every Christmas, Martin Powers found love. Unfortunately, it rarely lasted beyond New Years day. That is, until he met Matthew Kieler - a southern transplant, complete with cowboy hat, drawl, and enchanting blue eyes. Theirs was a love that transcended the moment and as time marched on, their love grew deeper and deeper and Martin realized he'd found the love he'd always longed for. But just when everything seemed it couldn't be any better, their world was turned upside down as both come face to face with the specter of AIDS.

Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson is a beautifully written novel. Honestly, I'm not sure I can write a review that will do it justice. As in all of Patterson's novels, his characters are incredibly well developed. In Silence the reader is taken on a journey of Martin and Matthew's romance, from their "meet cute" first encounter in the department store, to the tragedy that befalls them during a family Thanksgiving dinner. Patterson lovingly describes the very real and conflicting emotions of commitment, hardship, anger, anguish, and love one must manage while watching the person they love slowly die in before their very eyes.

Holding out hope for a cure all the while intellectually knowing it unlikely torments the soul and anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, especially one stricken by a chronic disease or cancer that robs them slowly of their former self, experiences the very heartache that this book so eloquently conveys. I remember the 1980s when AIDS was very much a part of everyday discussions and life, but honestly this has not gotten nearly the press it once had and Patterson's book is a great reminder of a tragic disease that is still in need of a cure. However, Patterson does not play to politics or get preachy in any way. This is really a story of Martin and Matthew, of love, of tragedy, of commitment, and of hope. Few books can touch such a strong emotional chord and I would put Look Away Silence up there with books by Nicholas Sparks such as The Notebook.

Well done Mr. Patterson, well done indeed.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense and emotional; a definite "must read", August 18, 2009
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
I have just finished Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson. It is an intense and emotional story. I started crying at the 85% point and didn't stop until the end of the book.

I started my career as a professional nurse in 1977 and I remember very vividly the wrath that was AIDS in the 1980s. Mr. Patterson captures that horror well. For those reading this who remember those days, this is a timely reminder; for those who are too young, you should read this book so that we can continue to learn from our mistakes and not make the same mistakes again (especially relevant in these days of gay rights and health care reform).

Even with the sad story, Mr. Patterson is a funny and engaging writer and I found this book hard to put down -- always a sign of a five-star read for me.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let Us Not Forget, January 2, 2011
By 
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
I hit the "sample" button for "Look Away Silence" with some trepidation. Did I really want to read an AIDS love story and all the anguish it promised to deliver? I had it on my Kindle for several days and only opened it up after being seriously bored with my other samples. Of course, I was hooked after the first page and the endearing character Mr. Patterson creates in Martin Powers. Patterson portrays an era and puts indelible faces on the lovers, caregivers, and families of a devastated generation. Being a writer myself, I so greatly admire his slight-of-hand writing technique. There is often a keen rhythm to the phrases, the perfect word to convey a unique character. This must have been a terribly difficult manuscript to pen; a fear of getting it right for all the fallen angels. He got it right. I hope that the e-book revolution opens up Mr. Patterson's writing to the greater audience he deserves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I cried and cried, March 30, 2011
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
In today's world of m/m romance/erotica this was a change. The book takes place during a time of tremendous grief with the explosion of AIDS/HIV. A touching tale of loss that hits home when as a country we were unprepared and uncaring to those in need. Where we failed the caregivers flourished. I cried and cried and became much more aware of the strength of person and character needed by those in the gay community. I have gained a new found respect for all involved as you kept your dignity and triumphed against much opposition and insensitivity by. May your loved ones rest in peace. My hat is off to you and my heart goes out to you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOOK AWAY SILENCE by EDWARD C. PATTERSON, September 7, 2010
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Paperback)
LOOK AWAY SILENCE is one of the most powerful love stories I have ever read. First, I am not one to embrace romance novels or love stories at all. The fact that it is a story of two men is irrelevant. Personally, my taste is in detective and crime novels, true and fiction. The fact this book was written by an Author I recently discovered on Amazon, is the ONLY reason I purchased and read it. I am glad I did.

LOOK AWAY SILENCE is the story of two young men who meet at the tie counter of a major department store in a New Jersey shopping mall at the height of the Christmas season. Within a month they fall in love and set up house together. They share a small group of friends, travel and enjoy life to its' fullest. Tragedy strikes when Matthew is diagnosed with AIDS. Martin was crushed. Now he knew why Matt had always insisted on 'safe-sex'. Did Matthew know his condition when he first took Martin to bed? How could he not have told him? Martin was now faced with a choice - should he just run and get as far away from Matthew as possible, and pray he had not contracted the dreaded disease? Martin dismissed such thoughts immediately. He not only loved Matthew, he was IN love with Matthew. He chose to stay and to face the inevitible with Matthew.

As Matthew's health declines and his condition becomes known to their close friends and to Matt's family it is Martin who takes on the tasks of being a full-time caregiver. This book cannot help but reach out and touch one's heart. It is a sad tale, but all too true in every community around the world. I recall in the early eighties when HIV and AIDS was discovered, and it was called "the Gay Men's Disease". Then all of a sudden women began contrating it too and it was discovered one could get it by intravenous needle sharing, and all kinds of other possibilites were expoused. Needless to say, no vacine and no cure has yet been discovered and far less money is channeled for aggressive research into a cure.

This book needs to be on the Best Seller List of THE NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY and all other meaningful "Best Seller" lists. Perhaps a MOVIE? This book makes one search his mind and find understanding and hope.

One cannot help but hold both Martin and Matthew in high regard. I was genuinely touched by this magnificent Author's ability to tell such a heart-rending story.

I could not put the book down; and yes, I admit it made me cry - - - and that is not an easy thing to do.

Michael Phelps
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essence of Love, January 2, 2012
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
I've never cared for most romance novels and completely avoided stories about gay romance. I assumed the romantic aspects of a relationship between two people of the same sex would escape me and I expected to be overwhelmed and depressed with stories about young people suffering and dying of AIDS.

I never was homophobic. I always felt that no one would choose to be a victim of society's hatreds. If anything, I felt sympathy that some people are born so unlike the majority that they become victimized. I was disappointed when I read Ed's book about surviving an American Gulag. I may be a little dense at times but I thought the army had judged him unfairly when they assigned him to the group of misfits. I was hoping he would show the army that they were wrong about him.

Then I read Ed's Indian poems and was completely captivated by their beauty and sensitivity. They made me want to learn more about this man. I finally decided to read "Look Away Silence." After reading this beautiful love story, I completely accept and understand that the essence of love is more than the differing ways that gays and straights express their love. The characters in Ed's story are so real that they must be part of Ed's personal life story. I was so absorbed in "Look Away Silence," that I didn't notice even one error (if there was one),

I have been the caretaker of three family members during the last year of their lives (two from lung cancer and one from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). I felt Martin's agony and wept as he dealt with all the sorrowful aspects of his lover's dying experience. A well-written and deeply felt story.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Away Silence is a must read., July 20, 2010
This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
Martin finds his Christmas Eve tryst working retail, when last minute shopper Matt agrees to buy the ugliest tie in the store. Told as a remembrance, Martin shares their journey of love and loss.

Their story, set during the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, conveys the import of family and its many shapes and sizes, the meaning and value of community, the realization that love is a gift not always neatly wrapped with a bow. And, that silence equals death.

Written with an acerbic wit, the story and supporting cast of characters are richly drawn; Martin's somewhat raunchy, but always gritty mother, a friend and mentor in the guise of an aged and wise drag-queen, Matt's tough and compassionate parents, the tried and true lesbian best friends and others literally haul Martin through the pains of self discovery and the duties of unconditional love until he's unbrave no more.

To say Look Away Silence is heart-wrenching is an injustice. This story will double-fist-grab your entire body from the very beginning and may never loosen its grip. Which is apt. We must never forget.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found a book that made me cry ;-), September 26, 2010
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
Since recently purchasing my kindle I have found many books that I normally would not have chosen. This book is one of the most moving and emotional books I have ever read.
I am a hetero female, but have always opened my heart to all forms of people with unconditional love. My best friend is a lesbian and I wouldn't trade her for anything.
Luckily the world's judgemental view is improving and I hope to see same-sex marriage in the near future!
This book really hits home. Showing all the love one can give to another.
Thank you so much for this great book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, July 5, 2010
By 
Lynn Bough "Bridie" (Steamboat Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Look Away Silence (Kindle Edition)
I am not a part of the gay community but I do, and did have many friends who went through the devastating days of Aids written about by Edward Patterson. I did not know what to expect from this book and was blown away by the intensity and depth of emotion it provoked. Beautiful writing, a compelling story and lesson after lesson on the power and importance of compassion. Mr Patterson has made me think and has taken me out of my narrow and protected world. I can ask no more from a book. We are all bimbos on the same bus. I'm glad I've taken a ride with Mr. Patterson.
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Look Away Silence
Look Away Silence by Edward C. Patterson (Paperback - July 17, 2009)
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