From Publishers Weekly
Interviews with gay men presently or formerly married to women form the backbone of this lackluster compilation. Leddick's previous book on New York City Ballet co-founder Lincoln Kirstein and his circle (Intimate Companions, 2001) covered some of the same ground, but with more focus and point. Forty men speak out here, with the vapid frankness of pseudoanonymity, of their experience of wedlock in and out of the closet. (At least one man, the photographer David Armstrong, appears under his own name; he's the longtime lover of the horror novelist Clive Barker and, incidentally, the only black man Leddick uncovered.) These men's lives follow predictable patterns-a youth of secret attraction to other males, followed by social pressures that lead to the altar, followed by years of guilt, and, most often, divorce, though some of the subjects prefer to stay married for personal reasons. Proceeding by generation, Leddick surveys older men first; the bulk of the book is devoted to men over 40, for whom the above cycle has completed itself. His case-study approach to homosexuality was campily popular during the closeted 1960s, a scientific demeanor cloaking purportedly true tales of twilight lives. Veteran author Leddick updates the formula with references to AIDS and the Internet, but the effect is the same, and so are many of the soft-porn passages: "The guide reached out and touched the front of Katzen's brief trunks. Katzen says, 'It was like a current of electricity hit me. I woke up. Suddenly I knew what I really wanted.'" "Many of the men I interviewed," writes the author, "knew very little about other men who'd had experiences similar to theirs. Nor, surprisingly, did they seem very interested to find out more." Such a level of apathy raises the bar for readers, who will need a scorecard to remember the players in this disappointing and repetitive book.
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