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I Pass Like Night (Contemporary Classics (Washington Square Press)) Paperback – July 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Vanity Fair Jonathan Ames's acclaimed fictional odyssey inside New York City's sexual underground is the first novel from this arresting and original writer. Bleakly funny, fiercely moving, this starkly rendered chronicle of a young man's secret life is both unforgettable and "unabashedly shocking."
Philip Roth An authentic voice of youthful suffering. Mr. Ames's antisocial young hero comes through as a cross between Jean Genet and Holden Caulfield in the age of AIDS. The style is the real achievement: strong, clean, and poker-faced.
Joyce Carol Oates Cinematic in its short, graphic takes, chilling in its authority....A disturbing and often funny portrait of a man without illusions.
USA Today Evokes the lean style of Raymond Carver.
Kirkus Reviews Impressive...Ames set[s] down haunting urban scenes in a spare style that works like poetry.
Time Out London Unerringly builds up an accurate portrait of a dissolute young man floundering in a sea of amorality.
The Times Literary Supplement London This is New York at street level. Ames is something of a gambler [but he] negotiates the pitfalls with remarkable dexterity....There is an unforced sadness at the heart of this novel, and there lies the proof that the gamble has succeeded.
Dallas Morning News Crazy, frightening, poignant, funny encounters...utterly fearless in its unsentimental depiction of a young man courting self-destruction.
Booklist Ames makes [Alexander Vine] as horrifying an emblem of American young manhood as the coke-snorters of Bright Lights, Big City and Less Than Zero.
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Top Customer Reviews
Protagonist Alexander Vine is adored by his mother, who has told him "If anything happened to you, my life would be over." He has problems with his father (he cannot bear to hear him eat). He goes to summer camp and gets poison ivy. He plays in the woods with friends as a child. He totals the family car playing "Starsky and Hutch" with a buddy. He loves his great-aunt, and mourns the loss of his grandfather. He's afraid of a lot of things. He's afraid of germs, but likes bums, drunks, and street people very much.
The adult Vine at times can barely get out the door. "I spent the whole day moving in and out of consciousness between naps and reveries, counting the hours until the free phone-sex message would change." He recalls the details of a wholly conventional and loving middle-class family and upbringing (sometimes with a lot of humor). He frequents peep shows and prostitutes. He is a good friend to his friends. Sex with both men and women (and there is a lot of it in his story) means everything and nothing to the protagonist: excitement, anticipation, surrender and the hope of communion, an escape from boredom. But the event never quite succeeds the way he hopes that it will. He wants passion and love - and never gives up hope.
Like F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Crack-Up," these interesting pieces vary in length and in mood, are arresting and varied, are either autobiographical or not, and together form a terrifically cohesive whole. I enjoyed this novel very much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I absolutely loved this book and the authors writing. I loved how he mixed thoughts and feelings about childhood, life, and, love with his odd adult life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amy C
Some anthropologists argue that one of the characteristics of humans is the need to rationalise its actions no matter how absurd and contradictory they might be. Read morePublished on April 12, 2002 by Amazon Customer
This is a slim volume with slim achievements. It intends to build a picture from a series of little stories that you and I might tell whilst waiting, for only a short time, at the... Read morePublished on October 9, 2001 by R. Wooldridge
There is a real sweetness about Jonathan Ames' writing. Like Richard Brautigan, he uses simple sentence structures that allow us to experience incredible events with a sense of... Read morePublished on May 11, 2000 by Lee Armstrong
I came to "I Pass Like Night" after reading "The Extra Man". "The Extra Man" was disturbing, comic, and sad. Read morePublished on October 19, 1999