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Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel Paperback – May 11, 2004
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About the Author
Steve Kluger has written extensively on subjects as far-ranging as World War II, rock 'n' roll, and the Titanic, and as close to the heart as baseball and the Boston Red Sox. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Paperback : 366 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060595833
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060595838
- Product Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.84 x 8 inches
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; First Edition, Later Printing (May 11, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #755,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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4 Stars ⭐️
I did enjoy this one. It has a narration style that is not going to be for everyone, but once I got used to it really enjoyed it.
It started slow, and I honestly didn’t enjoy the first chapter but then like a boulder rolling down a hill picked up momentum as the story progressed. By the time Travis was on his road trip I was thoroughly engrossed and enjoying myself immensely
I liked both Travis and Craig. Both guys were quirky in their own ways and this really shone through via the narration style as they bantered with the secondary characters. The secondary characters were also all a hoot. I loved Gordo and AJ, even Gordo’s dad was funny. Travis was probably my favourite his quirks entertained me big time. Whereas Craig was more funny in his banter with the team at his office.
This book is really different in that usually where one of the main characters already has a significant partner that partner is a normally a jerk and acts in a way that the reader wants the MC to move on and get together with the other MC. In this one for the first time ever I was firmly in the camp of Craig staying with Clayton. Clayton took awhile to get to know and it wasn’t until he and Travis were getting to know each other that we really get to see Clayton shine and he was a great guy.
I enjoyed that all of the characters got to know each other and became sort like a little family. I also liked that Travis did come to understand that while he had not moved on, Craig actually had, and had moved on for 12 years. When all is said and done he was happy with Clayton and the life they had together until the notion of Travis reinserted itself into his life, but I did like the way this was resolved and how we got the information about all the characters whereabouts and life choices.
An interesting read of a book that has been languishing in my TBR pile for years. I believe it will be one of those books that I’ll reread in the future
My old aunt had a cyncial expression which seems to fit this book: "It was too cute for its own good and too clever by half." In other words, Kluger took a quasi-possible scenario and a maybe-charming technique and stretched these to their absolute limits and then beyond. The "communique-style" format could well have been interspersed with some even, flowing narration for the more sensitive or gripping sections of the plot - in other words, just smart, concise and engaging writing of the old-fashioned kind, instead of the characters or court documents or artificial dairy entries providing all the commentary on what could have been some dicey and emotionally-charged plot developments. This constant barrage of trumped-up emails, notes, letters, journal entries, ad nauseum just lost its thrust half-way through the story, and made me appreciate so much more UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE of fifty years ago which handled a similar format with much greater style and punch. Sometimes you just want to know what happens, without the so-called benefit of a character's cynical or silly interpretation
And it is no credit to the author that every voice sounded much the same as every other: I could barely distinguish between AJ and Charleen, Gordo and Clayton, and - worst of all - between Craig and Trav!! Way, way too cutesy, and way, way too unrealistic. I can suspend my disbelief as well as the next guy, but everything after the original attraction of two horny teenage boys who fall in lust just went too far beyond the beyond.
I was that kid once (probably more Trav than Craig, but who can even tell the difference anyway?) Maybe I missed the boat but i don't believe anyone keeps the torch burning for twenty years when college, life, jobs, new relationships, adult responsibilities and the rest of reality come in between. And worst of all - after twenty years both BOYS still seemed like boys to me, not men but petulant, overdrawn, super-charged, silly teenagers. And enough with the one-dimple smile!!!
I'll stop here. I wanted to like this book and wanted to see these characters develop and know (and maybe even re-love) each other as adults. But they never did. And, alas, they never were part of a palatable rom-com either. Too bad.
If not for the pressure of being faithful to a book group that was reading this, I would have never moved beyond the 1978 passages.
Top reviews from other countries
The other key feature of this book I had to mention was the humour. Its wacky, zany and seeps into every aspect of the novel. Travis in particular is over-the-top, a tiny bit crazy, a lot neurotic and also completely loveable, but much like the writing style of the book the humour is another aspect people will either love or hate. I personally loved it, although at times it would have been nice for more emotion and less humour.
Although this book revolves around the romance between Travis and Craig this isn’t your typical m-m romance. The reader follow Travis and Craig from initial meeting, to first kiss, university, separation and beyond. After all no one falls in love when they’re eighteen, do they? This is the question Travis suddenly asks himself at the age of 39 after another failed relationship. Even after all these years he can’t forget what he had with Craig and the connection they shared.
It this thought that begins Travis mad-cap journey across America to track down the love of his life. A person he hasn’t seen in twenty years. Someone who could be married, dead or worse not the Craig he remembers. I loved Travis as a character because he takes the leaps no person would in real life. He’s willing to put it all on the getting arrested isn’t going to stop him from finding Craig.
While Travis is travelling across the country Craig is busy making decision of his own. Huge life-changing decisions that could put him out of Travis’s reach forever, but that is a journey your just going to have to experience for yourself!
There is rather too much meaningless detail about American sport (at least for a Brit) but overall the story is a good page turner.