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Where The Boys Are Hardcover – May 1, 2003

Book 2 of 3 in the Jeff and Lloyd Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1St Edition edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758203268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758203267
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,257,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mann continues to chart the lives, lusts and losses of Jeff O'Brien and Lloyd Griffith, who first appeared in his 1997 novel, The Men from the Boys. This lively sequel finds them estranged after six years together, yet considering a reconciliation. The death from AIDS of their mutual best friend and mentor David Javitz sent them scurrying in different directions: Jeff to discover a blissful bachelorhood of drugs, circuit parties and dance floor groping in Boston, and Lloyd to adopt a peaceful, celibate Provincetown lifestyle, exploring his spiritual side and running a guesthouse with friend Eva. Can these two men find common ground again? Lurking in the background are several friends who stand in their way: Jeff's current squeeze, the independently wealthy Anthony; Henry, Jeff's smitten best friend; and the widowed, emotionally unstable Eva. Each reveals his or her own secrets while selfishly pecking away at Jeff and Lloyd's happiness. This is especially true of Henry, who is indebted to Jeff for helping to transform him from nerdy nobody to muscular hottie. The chatty story is related from different characters' perspectives, the better to reveal their occasionally earnest but generally shallow motives. Mann doesn't skimp on cattiness, camp and clever barbs, yet he addresses serious subjects-safe sex, gay families, moral responsibility-as well. But at more than 400 tight-packed pages, the onslaught of rapid-fire, sitcom-style repartee and melodrama may have some circuit boys leaving this dance early.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Guaranteed to send your temperature soaring." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Anthony's character brought a very interesting story to the mix.
"cheflojo"
Through the pages of this intensely gratifying read, Mann addresses a multitude of issues concerning gay men and their culture.
Jak Klinikowski
I found it difficult to put this book down once I began reading it.
Bob Benson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Richard F. Carson on August 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
While it helps to have read Mr. Mann's earlier novel, "The Men From the Boys," because the main characters carry over, this book stands on its own. Since the narrative progresses in chapters which are told in the first-person by several of the characters -- and this device really works well in telling the story -- this is one of those books you have a hard time putting down.
There is something compelling about each of the half dozen main characters that propels you forward to uncover the next revelation. Mr. Mann uses his keen insights into the gay culture to address important issues like how gay men grow and mature, and he incisively describes the difficulties in maintaining the kinds of communication necessary to nurture healthy relationships between partners and among friends. Sounds kinda heavy, and it is, but the several story lines going on provide a lot of juicy entertainment as well.
When I finished "The Men From the Boys," I wanted the story to go on so I could see if these guys could get their acts together. I got my wish with "Where the Boys Are," but I'm hoping there's a third act in the wings. The issues Mr. Mann raises warrant more of the kind of continuing dialogue on this that he's so great at delivering.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
William Mann's premise in this novel is that gay people have our own families apart from biological ones, that we make our own rules up as we go and that we will make mistakes. Mr. Mann expounds on this by continuing the story he began in THE MEN FROM THE BOYS. Jeff and Lloyd have now lost their best friend Javitz to AIDS but must somehow continue without him. Mr. Mann introduces new prominent characters, Henry, Eva and Anthony as well as the subjects of circuit parties, drugs in the gay community, barebacking, new age jargon, gay bashing, internalized homophobia, "fag hags," male prostitution and what is described as "sacred sex workers." Yes, the chef emptied out the entire refrigerator to make this pot of soup.
For my money, the character Anthony works very well and is one of the best things about the story. Mr. Mann handles the mystery and intrigue surrounding his background very well. He is not so successful in the portrayals of Eva and Henry. Eva is so needy and manipulative as to be for the most part totally obnoxious. And I groaned when Henry became what he calls a sacred sex worker.
Also, Mann ties all the threads up too quickly in the end, I thought-- was he running out of pages? On the other hand, I've read dozens of gay novels that were neither as entertaining or well written as this one.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brent Spencer on November 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I loved "The Men From the Boys" so I was looking forward to any new book by William J. Mann. I was thrilled when I discovered that on top of everything the new book ("Where the boys are") was going to be a sequel to the one I loved ("The Men..."). What a disappointment! "Where the Boys Are" seems to be written by somebody else.
Some of the characters have the same names (Jeff, Lloyd, the ghost of Javitz, and very vague references to Eduardo, Tommy, etc.) but that's about the only thing the two books have in common!
(Mis)Using a narrative technique taken from Faulkner's "As I lay dying", we get to see the events from inside three character-narrators (Jeff, Lloyd & Henry) but instead of introspection and personal points of view, we get shallowness and confusion -especially since it changes from one to the other every few pages, before the reader can get a feel for the character. Since there is no introspection, it doesn't make a difference who is narrating, only confusion as to who the "I" on that page refers to!
In addition, each of these three character-narrators gets into an irritating 'dialogue' (?!) with the reader, teasing her or him on what they will share or not share with her/him, etc.
Paradoxically, this approach of getting inside the characters -to get to know them better- leaves the reader with the impression that there is nothing there making the characters far less likeable than in the previous book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John on August 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
It was if Mann had some sort of portal that peers into my life, my hopes and my wishes. Although the details may be different, we have all experienced what these characters have to some degree. It was reassuring to know that these feelings about gay life, relationships and friendships are not unique.
What really made the book interesting was the fact that it was written in first person from the points of view of three characters: Jeff, Henry and Lloyd. It's obvious that these are much more than fictional characters, but characters based on people that the author has actually known.
It's interesting how the three points of view fill in the missing gaps in each character's narrative, or give a different spins on a single event, much like the characters in a Maeve Binchy novel.
With Where the Boys Are and its prequel, The Men from the Boys, our generation may have actually found its literary voice in William J. Mann.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mann has developed his voice and his writing style since "The Men from the Boys." Never afraid to try something new, "Where the Boys Are" is a continuation of the lives of Jeff and Lloyd, set a few years after Javitz's death. Jeff's new best friend, Henry, becomes the third narrator and a year in their life is told from all three viewpoints. Each man has his own distinct voice and through the entire book, I often forgot Mann was penning each section. Though gay characters can be labeled stereotypical, I believe each of us can see parts of ourselves in the main and supporting characters. Jeff, lost and alone (even though he's surrounded by others), makes me remember what it's like to feel lonely. Lloyd, embarking on a new adventure in P-town, reminds me of the joys and the rush experienced when starting something new. Henry, finally able to see himself in a better light, allows me to wonder if I could do the same. Though this book speaks to gay men, the issues transcend sexuality. With every high and low I felt more connected to Jeff: I learned lessons while he learned them, understood why he was being selfish when he was. No, the characters in this book are not perfect...but that's the point. This book is real life, put down on paper. Friends taking friends for granted, trying to learn how to sacrifice for others, mixing trust and boundary issues: these are things I see affecting us all.
Mann's deep love of Provincetown is apparent though the setting does smoothly transition between P-town, circuit parties around the nation, and Boston. Forewarned, this is not a circuit party book. Instead Mann uses his settings as backgrounds, focusing on the events that occur at each, not the actual location.
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More About the Author

I live in two of the most beautiful places on the planet ' Provincetown, Massachusetts, with its exquisite light and ever-shifting dunes in the summer and the fall, and Palm Springs, California, with its majestic mountains and invigorating desert air in the winter and the spring. I am indeed blessed.

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