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Love Undetectable: Notes on Friendship, Sex, and Survival Paperback – October 26, 1999
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Always provocative--the chapters on the plague will still rankle those who see AIDS as an ever-present and growing danger--Love Undetectable proves that Sullivan has a voice and a heart that can reach across the borders of experience and politics. --Michael Bronski --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first essay, entitled "When Plagues End", contains a slightly less optimistic version of an article Sullivan published in 1996 in the New York Times magazine. After depicting the horror of illness and death from AIDS, Sullivan describes the release from impending doom provided by the new anti-viral drugs. He draws on Camus for inspiration. In the second essay, Sullivan turns to the psychologists' views of homosexuality. He does this in response to the recent vocal claims by reparative therapists and "ex-gays". By exploring this issue, Sullivan ventures into the no-man's land between those who want to abolish homosexuality by curing it and those who won't tolerate any mention of pathology in connection with being gay. Although Sullivan seeks a "teleology of homosexuality, to answer the question, `What are homosexuals for?' ", he devotes the essay to presentation of theories of its origin and causes. He concisely summarizes Freud's ideas and those of recent psychotherapists. Sullivan follows Freud's example by not proposing an explanation for the causes of homosexuality. He challenges the gay reader to use the presentation of various theories to spur self-examination.Read more ›
At the height of his career, Sullivan made the announcement made the announcement that he was HIV-positive. In saying this, he made the assertion: `I intend to be among the first generation that survives this disease.'
Sullivan has occupied a difficult position politically - tending toward conservatism that doesn't sit well with much of the homosexual community, he also tends toward political positions (such as pro-same sex marriage) that go against much of the conservative sentiment. In this first book, 'Virtually Normal', Sullivan argued for an acceptance of same-sex marriage; he followed that up by editing a collection of essays and contributions by others on the same topic.
However, his latest book, 'Love Undetectable', is a very different book. Insofar as Sullivan's life is inextricably bound up with political, historical, and sociological writing through his profession, that is reflected here, but this is a very non-political book. Consisting of three essays, it is primarily reflexions on the life of a survivor, who has yet to become a successful survivor - Sullivan himself.
Sullivan is bound to alienate all sides in some ways once again with this volume. He takes on both the church and religious side and the gay liberation side in his first essay: When Plagues End. 'The gay liberationists have plenty to answer for in this.Read more ›
In the first essay, "When Plagues End," he discusses his own sexual journey and how becoming HIV-positive reshaped his life. But not only that--Sullivan captures the feelings, moments and memories associated with his romances, spirituality and struggle for identity. It's a keyhole to a side of Sullivan we have never really seen, and it makes his writing more real and persuasive than ever.
"Virtually Abnormal," his second essay, is not as personal, but thoughtfully and persuasively articulated. Here he delves into the most current media debate about gays--the origins of homosexuality and whether it can be changed through psychotherapy. Sullivan presents several theories and arguments, from both sides of the fence (here his writing style does resemble "Virtually Normal"). No matter where he turns, from the "genetic" to the "environmental" theory, we see that each position holds a piece of the truth, and there are no hard answers. Sullivan concludes that even though homosexuality is neither strictly "normal" or "abnormal," we should pay attention to society's reaction toward it, since "its treatment is a critical indicator of the endurance of...liberty in a free society."
Friendship is the topic of "If Love Were All," in which Sullivan challenges us to reconsider and even resurrect the value of friendship. Gay friendships can be a model for straights, he says, since gay men are particularly good at forming lifelong bonds with each other.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a collection of essays on human sexuality, specifically homosexuality. While Sullivan does write about sex, he pointedly makes the case for same sex love and... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jacqueline
Surprisingly informative and relatable essays on love, even though the author is gay and I am not. I actually enjoyed it.Published 20 months ago by C. Pierce
Since purchasing this book and reading it, I have quoted it on a weekly basis during some conversation or another. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
I recently purchased my third hard copy of "Love Undetectable", not for myself, but rather for an acquaintance of several months, who I had met at an online "hookup" site. Read morePublished on February 12, 2012 by Neoplatonic
Probably Sullivan's best book, especially the passages on his own personal struggles with homosexuality. Read morePublished on June 30, 2002
I have read all of Andrew's books and this is by far the least compelling. While he does generate some interest in the first two chapter, by the third he is off into some very... Read morePublished on November 26, 2000
Some of the reviews express such anger. Because not all of us have as yet found a way to "be" whole and content is not a reason to bash Sullivan because he has. Read morePublished on December 28, 1999
Sullivan writes like a five-year-old child who believes the center of the universe is him. He clearly has no compassion for anyone outside his demographic niche, despite the... Read morePublished on July 19, 1999
Sullivan is the product of his background - an upper-middle-class Anglo-Catholic Oxford graduate. His book reads like a 250-page tutorial essay, except that no self-respecting... Read morePublished on December 10, 1998 by Paul Bailey