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Older Man Younger Man: A Love Story Paperback – August 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


This is a compelling story, beautifully rendered, that will enlighten and surprise you about a topic that you might even consider a mild taboo. Not after you read this gripping and persuasive book. --Susan Page, author of The 8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive and Why Talking Is Not Enough: Loving Actions That Will Transform Your Marriage

Older Man/Younger Man is not only a love story between two men of different generations, but one that transcends time and space by constantly evoking memories of other lifetimes spent in similar mutual devotion.

In the timelessness of this relationship the archetypal pair of master and disciple with its characteristic erotic charge appears here in a modern garb where the disciple often surpasses his master in relational sensitivity and practical wisdom. The common ground of this uneven pair is an unwavering loyalty and a deep, passionate love for one another where sexuality becomes the glue that binds two souls together in an inseparable union.

Of all the good books Joseph Dispenza has written this is his best. Love seems to have opened the door to poetic expression and taken him to new heights of visual evocativeness in his writing. In one courageous leap of faith he has plunged himself into his own depth of human vulnerability where the specter of social stigma, sickness, old age and loss of life looms large against the background of a loving relationship with a much younger partner. The honesty that was required to write this groundbreaking book is deserving of the greatest respect. --Sabine Lucas, author of Past Life Dreamwork: Healing the Soul through Understanding Karmic Patterns

Redemption comes in many forms. We like to think that we `do' life, but the truth is that it does us. Joseph Dispenza has given us a tale of deep authenticity, of how the sacred came to him in the form of a loving relationship, and how it transformed his life. "God" is not elsewhere, he seems to be saying; it's the daily process of living itself. --Morris Berman, author of The Reenchantment of the World and Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West

Older Man/Younger Man is a brave, groundbreaking book. It's not just a gay man's story; it is a stunningly beautiful and universal story of love, courage, and faith. The author's compelling narrative pierces the heart with fundamental truths: love transcends age, sexual orientation, and religious conditioning; love heals; love is timeless; love binds us all.

This book invites us to more closely examine the transformational power of love, no matter where we find it, no matter the age, skin color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation of the bearer.

I applaud Dispenza for his courage and honesty. He boldly paves the way for generations to come. I am a better person from reading this riveting story. It forever changed how I view love. I couldn't put it down! --Robin Easton, author of Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest

From the Publisher

Age-gap in relationship still hovers on the edge of acceptance in our society, even more so, perhaps, when it comes to same-sex couples. It may be the last prejudice against convention waiting to leave the cultural closet.

This book bravely goes directly to the issue and makes an eloquent case for deeply committed love across generations as another, and perfectly normal, way of engaging in meaningful relationship.

Intensely personal, this memoir of the first decade of a profound love between two men of vastly different ages is also a story that all of us can relate to, whatever our gender, whatever our age.

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 67%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1460956982
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460956984
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


I am the author of thirteen nonfiction books, including "Older Man Younger Man: A Love Story," "God On Your Own: Finding a Spiritual Path Outside Religion" (Jossey-Bass/Wiley), "Live Better Longer" (HarperCollins) and "The Way of the Traveler" (Avalon); a novel, "The House of Alarcon" (Coward McCann/Putnam); and a play, "The Death and Trial of Pope Formosus."

Early in my life, I lived as a monk for eight years. My order was the Congregation of Holy Cross (CSC), a Catholic order of teaching brothers. The first year of my monastic experience was a year of total silence.

After I left the monastic life, I worked for social change with a number of humanitarian organizations, including The Center for Social Communications in New York and the Institute for Environmental Change in Toronto. I earned an advanced degree in communication and became an educator and writer.

My writings on spirituality and natural self-healing have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Alternative Medicine, American Way, Beliefnet.com, Eddie Bauer, Free Spirit, Magical Blend, Massage Magazine, Spirituality and Health, Whole Life Times, and To Your Health.

Much of my professional life has been spent teaching, as lecturer at American University in Washington, D.C., and as professor at The College of Santa Fe, where I founded a film school, which became an academic program in Moving Image Arts.

I have been in practice as a spiritual counselor for 30 years. I am the co-founder of LifePath Retreats in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where I live.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Reader lady on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It was raw and honest and revealing. It gave me courage to be more open and honest in my own relationships. The depth and joys of love shown by the author as the reward make it so well worth it. I cried sentimental tears and laughed at silly things. I experienced a whole range of emotions while reading this book. It truly is a love story through and through. I highly recommend this book. Just be prepared to have a chunk of time to set aside because once you start, you won't want to put it down.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Connie on June 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Older Man Younger Man was a free download from Amazon.
It is a journey on its own, it's a mix of philosophy, spiritual search, religion, sexual identity.
I have to be honest and say that I skipped parts, at points was slow but always very insightful.
I marked as non-fiction, the author speaks of his life, as a healer and as a spiritual advisor.
After I finished reading the book I went searching for the Life Path website.
The book is about the Older Man, Joseph who falls in love with a Younger Man, Mike; almost 30 years his junior.
The book tells the story of their relationship and the ups and downs they go through over those 10 years together.
Joseph coming out, facing the fact that he is in a relationship that it is socially unacceptable, not just because of the same sex but because of the age difference.
Illness, both Joseph and Mike suffer and how they make them stronger as individuals and as a couple.
Challenges, changes in life, fears.
Everything they face in their day to day as they embark on their new life as healers and spiritual advisors in Mexico.
I don't know if the book is propaganda for the Life Path retreat house, it doesn't feel that way. But like I said the first thing I did was check out the website.
It just felt like I wanted to go and visit, experience that peace.
I had no idea the work was about the author's real life and experiences, and that makes it all the more interesting.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James L. Helmuth on September 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Older man/Younger Man, a love story" is authentic and real. It is a heroic story of one man's struggle to slay his dragons of shame and fear in order to find his authentic self. Joseph Dispenza is a warrior of love, devotion and honesty. His memoir makes a tremendous contribution to our understanding of the meaning of love and commitment in the search for true intimacy, which is the foundation of both sexuality and spirituality. I highly recommend this book to all who long for the freedom to be both honest and intimate in relationships . James L. Helmuth, Ph.D. Psychologist
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ProfessionalWritingCoach on September 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Older Man/Younger Man: A Love Story" is one of the most extraordinary books I've read in a long time. A memoir by highly-loved writer, Joseph Dispenza, this books delves into some of the most pressing issues of life in the world today: what is it to love, what is it to have faith and spirituality, what does it take to overcome the shame that a primarily Judeo-Christian background has imbued many of us with? But the book is not an academic tome or a "self-help" book. It is a vibrant, entrancing story of a man's life. Filled with moments of despair, hope, love, excitement, fulfillment, Dispenza writes with a lyrical style that will keep the reader turning page after page. It is a story of love between two men, yes; but it is also a story of love among all members of humanity. It's a book not to be missed. Eva Hunter, writer and writing coach
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By zepposan on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
In this courageous and painfully honest memoir, author Joseph Dispenza reveals his inner turmoil, and ultimately his redemption, in loving a man 30 years his junior. He not only writes openly and personally about "the love that dare not speak its name," he proclaims it, and in the most spiritual sense. In so doing, he shatters deeply held taboos and shows them for what they are - irrational fears to which Dispenza, himself, was not immune and to which he was held hostage for decades. I was particularly struck by Dispenza's confrontations with aging. He has dug into the innermost corners of his psyche and put into words the anger, the betrayal and, yes, the fear that most of us inevitably face as we get on in years. Thank you for this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the true story of the evolution of a relationship between two men with a 30 year age difference between them.

Joseph (the older of the two) joined a monastery right out of high school as a way to deal with his sexual confusion. It's the sort of place where, for the first year, silence is required. When he left the monastery eight years later, he was no closer to any sort of answer.

Later in life, Joseph meets Mike in a small town in Mexico. Mike is a massage therapist whose dream is to become a naturopathic doctor, and Joseph is immediately smitten. To his joy, Joseph finds out later that day that Mike is also gay. Joseph has written several books on spiritual matters, so they decide to join forces and start an organization intended to help people through various life transitions. They eventually set up shop in a small town in Mexico.

Most relationships have their petty quarrels and misunderstandings, but the only bad parts of this relationship seem to be health related. Mike is subject to epileptic seizures, which he controls with medication. Later in the relationship, Joseph experiences pain during his much too frequent urination. Several prescriptions have little, or no, effect. When it turns out to be more than just a urinary tract infection, Joseph, or anyone in their 60s, can't help but think "Is this the beginning of the end? Will you be forced into the role of caregiver as I start to physically fall apart?" The death of Joseph's only brother, back home in Ohio, helps send him into a fit of depression. Mike notices Joseph's withdrawing, or hiding, from him, and loudly expresses his frustration.

When reading about an intimate, caring relationship between two people of very different ages, "Ew" is a normal response.
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