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My Worst Date Paperback – February 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 3 edition (February 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312181388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312181383
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,671,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Young man finding his way in a new sexual world" is a common theme in gay male fiction. But what about "young man finds himself working as a stripper, playing a featured part on a nighttime soap opera, and then dating his mother's boyfriend." Hugo, the hero of My Worst Date has a lot to learn about life, and, boy, is he learning fast. David Leddick's prose is charming and insightful, his characters are world-weary but still eager, and his sense of humor and empathy is on target. Set in the semimythical gay world of South Beach, Florida, My Worst Date is a romp with feeling that has some smart things to say. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Hugo, the hero of this uneven and dispiriting first novel, is a 16-year-old Miami high-school student whose first real affair is with Glenn, his mother's boyfriend?a premise that a gifted novelist could spin into giddy farce, erotic fiction or a coming-of-age tale. Leddick attempts all three?with more contrivances than so slender a novel can support. Hugo moonlights as a stripper, then becomes a Versace model and an actor in a TV pilot about the South Beach scene?all while maintaining a solid GPA, continuing a secret affair with Glenn and shopping around for a college in New York. Hugo's long-absent father, debauched and jaded, shows up late in the novel, as does Hurricane Andrew, though neither episode provides the dramatic payoff the reader expects. Leddick's talent in evoking the voice of a sensitive adolescent is evident at the outset, but the convolutions of the plot, narrated by different characters in alternating chapters, defeat any patient exploration of Hugo's inner life. More disturbingly, Hugo is ultimately little more than a monstrous fantasy figure?a nubile adolescent whose libido triumphs over any ethical qualms either he or his adult lover might have about their relationship.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

David Leddick is an author, playwright and actor.

He has 22 books published: many photography books about the male nude (including one of Taschen's top-ten bestsellers, "The Male Nude"), and the second edition of "In the Spirit of Miami Beach" (from Assouline Books).

Leddick has published six novels (including "My Worst Date" and "The Sex Squad"), and a biography of art figures from the 1930s and 1940s, "Intimate Companions."

The author's newest book, "Gorgeous Gallery," is a collection of homoerotic art published by Bruno Gmunder and will be available worldwide in June. Leddick's next book will be "Meaningless Hugs, Meaningless Kisses," an impressionistic "imagined memoir" about a gay man's life in his 70s.

He was born in 1930, and after graduating from the University of Michigan served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He was at Bikini Atoll during the hydrogen bomb testing. Leddick moved to New York in the 1950s, and was a ballet dancer. He was with the Metropolitan Opera where he appeared onstage with great Divas such as Maria Callas.

Leddick has worked in advertising as the Worldwide Creative Director for Revlon in New York, and as International Creative Director for L'Oreal in Paris, through the 1970s and 1980s. He created some of the era's most iconic beauty campaigns (including the groundbreaking TV commercial for Jontue fragrance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDsPLNT2qq0).

He began a new career at the age of 65 as a writer, creating male nude photography books and writing novels. His first novel, "My Worst Date," was the most reviewed first novel from St. Martin's Press.

Resuming his theater career at the age of 70, he has written the scripts and lyrics for a number of musicals and plays he has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and South America.

Now in his 80s and living in Miami Beach, Leddick wants to write about reporting back from what he calls the "uncharted territory of aging." He considers living in his 80s to be the new late middle-age: "After romantic relationships and living life to the fullest through my 70s, I feel like I have gone out into an unknown frontier from which no one has reported back." His next books about this are "How to Hit 70 Doing 100" and "Sexercise at 70."

"I call everyone who is over 65 a Sextennial, and we are all going to share a new, rich experience in this last third of our lives - a productive and exciting time which has never existed historically before."

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I found this book incredibly boring. While it is obvious that Leddick gets into his characters, I did not. I found them two-dimensional, hollow cliches lacking in authenticity. Mr. Leddick should do more research and try to imbue his characters with more dimensions and distinct voices. I would suggest that he write porn instead, but even the sex scenes in the book are unrewarding, unerotic and unarousing. On the plus side, the guy on the cover is quite tasty and fortunately legal. Someone should just put together a coffee table book of covers of gay novels. I am sure that it would be more stimulating than a great deal of the novels themselves.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An enjoyable read looking in on the life of an intelligent sixteen year old boy, Hugo, who discovers his sexuality while living in the South Beach area of Miami. There are some very bizarre developments in the story, yet, none are morbid or impossible. Actually, while reading as comical, much of the book calls upon the reader to think through their personal points of view on various issues.

Some good examination of the range of sexual orientation (goood examples of degrees of hetero and homosexuality concept.) Hugo and his friends are delightful. His mother is a wonderful role model of a single parent who is mom and dad to her son without hindering his freedom or being nosy or invasive. The most ambitiously sexual character in the story is one that I could love or hate -- at least I found myself running from one of those directions to the other throughout my reading.

A fast, worthy and endearing read. Leddick should be commended for his character development. There's a range of everyone and everything on earth threaded in this story and the author makes each memorable. Go for it!

P.S. The cover has nothing to do with the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'm shocked by some of the praise reflected above and below for this extremely disappointing novel.
The characters are wholly unbelievable, the plot strains for credibility from page 1, and‹worst of all-the dialogue is hopelessly dated. Teens use language that no '90s teen would ever use. "Humpy?" That sounds like mid-'70s gay queen (it's okay for me to say that, I'm gay!).
This is a real downer of a book, all the way around.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doug Winnie on June 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Reading this book was a difficult experience. Being gay I have expereicned the huge amount of narcisism that is prevelant in the gay community. This book is the embodiment of that and even pushes the envelope even further.
The story to me is entirely unbelievable. A man that is having sex with his mother's boyfriend? A boy that strips at 17? That get's picked up by a relative at the club? Please...
One chapter began with a sequence I had to read twice. It involved ctiricism of people that are fat -- "fatties" -- Ugh. It is literature like this that gives people the reason to think that gay people really are like this.
Avoid this book -- unless you are interested in soft erotica.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Rockwell on August 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found the characters sympathetic, the plot seemingly implausable (in reality, having worked in the bar/sex industry, I know that it is very possible), and the writing in need of a strong editor. I was hooked from the start and greatly enjoyed it.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
Perhaps there are 16-year-olds in Miami Beach who are as knowing and wise as Hugo (and his best male and female friends). It is pleasant to think so and to admire Hugo's management of family and future, despite playing with fire in the love and sex department. When does he have time to read Muriel Spark, Jean Rhys, and M. F. K. Fisher? Or to know of such 40s film stars as Betty Grable, Ray Milland, and Miriam Hopkins (but not Robert Taylor? )? (Hhis friends who are also supposed to be born around 1970 allude to Donna Reed and Dorothy Lamour!)
The wrong (far older) universe of cultural allusions strains credulity, but the voice (Hugo's) is delightful, and the plot may be improbable but is not impossible.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book came out in 1996, way ahead of its time. Mainstream literature readers weren't ready for an in-depth look at the gay scene in Miami Beach, where everyone is self-centered, body-obsessed, monogamy is unheard of, and bisexual men are creeps to the men and women around them. This was when having one token gay character on a TV show was titillating. Now we see these types of men all over the place in shows like Queer As Folk and mainstream America is begininning to get a glimpse of gay culture.

This book stands the test of time. It is still relevant a decade later and doesn't seem dated at all. The main plot centers on a 17-year old son and his mother dating the same man, the dashing Glenn Eliott Paul. Mom is unaware that her son Hugo is secretly getting it on with her boyfriend. Some reviewers claim this is unrealistic. Wake up! Men on the "down low" are a cultural phenomenon and this is happening in every town in America (okay, maybe not in the same family, but there are many men who sleep with men but live life as heterosexuals).

This is a dramatic tale, full of twists and turns and deceptions and family secrets. No, you don't have to "like" all the characters. But, boy, does this make for some thrilling reading! There is plenty of homosexual erotica in this book, which I found to be well-done.

Give this book a chance and view it with an open mind. It is a complete page turner, and you get to see the action from the points of view of two very well developed characters, Hugo and his former-model Mom Iris.
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