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Margins of Tolerance Paperback – May 30, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Then I think about the things they have to put up with which make their lives so full and rich, and I decide I'm not so jealous after all.
Now, I don't know if my friend Eric Sasson has been to all the places his characters visit in his short story collection Margins of Tolerance - although I know he's well traveled. But if he's been to even HALF of them, then I'm jealous once again, and not of his experience as a gay man, but of his experience as a world traveler. I've been a LOT of places, but now that I have two school-aged kids, I don't get to go to far away places so much anymore.
What Eric has done with Margins of Tolerance is brilliant. He's taken those two things I'm jealous about - his experience as a gay man and his experience as a traveler - and combined them into a rich and varied commentary on things which transcend ALL experience.
Two common threads run through each of the stories contained in this volume: the first is that every protagonist is a gay male. (I think that's obvious from the things I've implied so far.) But if these stories focused solely on what it's like to be gay, then I think it would be easy to dismiss Eric as a writer who's found a comfortable niche - something to fall back on and rely on and repeat.Read more ›
Here are some of the notes I jotted down as I read:
Damn, this makes me think twice about the guy jammed up against me on the plane out of Hartsfield.
I'll bet a cool part time job would be as a hotel clerk in a foreign country, at least for a week.
I could call this a road map to a gay man's life, with highlighted routes... and asterisks to mark the things you REALLY shouldn't miss long the way, or I could just say this book is filled with great writing and unforgettable characters.
I felt that uncomfortable squirm in That Perfect Poison, and The World Needs Every Body. It's the squirm you feel when the narrator's "going there," whether you're ready or not, when you don't like the outcome, but you can't change it. I think that is a brilliant skill.
As is the way Sasson let me in secret travel techniques and the crap regarding travel that we all love to hate. He mixed it with a multi-cultural experience. that left me feeling wiser having read these stories, bubbe.
There were stories that I didn't want to end, like Floating, and one that felt like a major motion picture, the title story, Margins of Tolerance.
I could not love The Coming Revolution more, unless I could have it read to me again, by Sasson himself, as I reclined on a velvet chaise lounge in Idaho with a large glass of Pinot Noir in one hand and a Gauloise in the other.
To synopsize.Read more ›
"Inner Eye" is a deeply affecting story about a man traveling in Brazil without his partner. This story highlights one of Sasson's strengths in jarring the reader so that they feel as lost in the cultural/language barriers as the protagonist. Losing one's wallet on a trip abroad is a situation that everyone can imagine with deep horror but using it as metaphor for an unraveling relationship makes it even more chilling. The title story comes near the end of this collection and tackles big subjects such as coming to terms with homoerotic stirrings in one's early teens and how those who are marginalized decide whether to wage war against the status quo or succumb to it. But this story doesn't become moralizing under the weight of all that baggage. Instead, Sasson gives us rich, complicated characters that resist stereotypes. This collection doesn't present us with the pretty, sanitized version of complex social and interpersonal issues. This isn't the "margins" but rather the "serrated edges" of tolerance. Gay, straight, or anywhere in between, read this book and be prepared to feel uncomfortable, aroused, and awed by Sasson's meticulous prose.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sasson writes the global experiences of American gay men with skill, and more importantly, humanity. Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by Anonymous
At once savage, cold, tender and a myriad of mixed emotions, Mr. Sasson's "Margins of Tolerance" is a collection that deserves recognition. Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by Marcos Namit
I think Eric Sasson is breaking new ground. His unapologetic, seemingly uncensored, and yet tender-hearted delivery will help to make the GLBT section of the bookstore more... Read morePublished on September 4, 2012 by Ray
Entertaining, funny, sweet and sweaty! This collection of short stories is a page turner... a perfect read for the subway, on the beach or your next plane ride. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by liz tenenbaum
There's a lot going on here, most of it good. Sympathy, neurosis, humor, and culture clash come together with an appealing untidiness. Read morePublished on June 7, 2012 by aharon levy