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White Guys: A Novel Paperback – May 15, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
A subtle shift occurs in the friendship, reflected in Timmy's reluctance to confront the truth, hiding behind the growing problems of his own marriage and financial dependence on an interfering father-in-law. Never quite trusting his own definition of manhood, it is Tim's constant re-evaluation of his choices that leads to his undoing, his conscience piqued more by self-interest than a desire to do the right thing. Billy, the thorn in Tim's side, senses his friend's ambivalence, amused by it and counting on its predictability.Read more ›
Early on, protagonist Timmy O'Kane is an Irish American member of a group of Italian American friends. As teenagers they horse around in familiar ways, but one boy, Billy, is rougher than the others, more virile, edgy, and dangerous. Soon, Billy stays behind and leads a working-class life while the others go from "wise guys" to "white guys," by going to college and then by finding appropriate houses, kids, and wives in the suburbs. As you might expect, these typical yuppies soon realize during regular steak-booze-and-cigar gatherings that despite their apparent success, something is missing. When they go back to The Neighborhood, one of them hires Billy for a cushy, high-paying job, and his gutsy, testicular swagger, combined with his ongoing ability to bed any woman he wants and his knowing scorn for the trappings of their emasculated lives, soon come to represent, especially for Timmy, the vitality that they've left behind.Read more ›
Giardina beautifully captures the conflicts of masculinity in his muscular prose, deftly hidden emotions and those that are painfully revealed, and the evolving relationships his characters display. Sometimes knowing too much about a story before reading it subtracts essential emotional elements from the telling, so I'm glad I didn't know beforehand that this was a fictionalized version of the tragic murder of Charles Stuart's wife. This allowed me to immerse myself in the tension, the poetry of the language, and the story itself.