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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Some minor wear around edges of cover. Pages and cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged. Remainder mark on bottom page edges only visible when book is closed.
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Hornito: My Lie Life Paperback – September 4, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Softly lit, as if by a disco ball and a vintage Lava lamp, Mike Albo's rich and funny novel hinges on his protagonist and alter ego's visit home to suburban Springfield for Labor Day weekend, where he reminisces about his standard-issue American childhood and seeks a remedy for crabs, while obsessing about an unattainable trick of his named Eric, a dancer at Freon in Manhattan: "He is a human candy bar impulse buy--moving effortlessly and beautifully up there with a king-size Snickers down his white cutoffs." There is no plot to speak of in Hornito, but a few events occur to strike off sparks of recollection. The driving force is Albo's unquenchable libido, which leads him into the sex clubs of New York and the dismal local gay hangouts of his parents' hometown, just as it led him into satin shorts and eyeliner during his warped 1980s adolescence. Among the best gay books of 2000, Hornito speaks to the geeky and emotionally hungry boy in even the coolest man. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Up-and-coming New York City monologuist Albo's kaleidoscopic fiction debut chronicles a young man's navigation of consumer culture, gay identity and numerous erotic adventures. Poignant glibness and sharp pop-culture criticism punctuate the chatterbox voice of protagonist Mike Albo, whose harsh, quirky observations and quicksilver humor belie his earnest heart. The book flashes through two decades, from formative events in his stultifying, suburban Virginia childhood to New York City's East Village in the early '90s, as starry-eyed, adult Mike tries to make sense of who he is and what he wants. He thinks he wants go-go boy EricDbut Eric's with George and sometimes with BennyDor maybe he wants another one-night stand with a heartbreaker like Rod. He knows for sure he wanted Jeff, his high school love, and Jason, the unreachable golden boy. Investigating his various desires, Mike unearths a secret involving his brother and their older, male babysitter, and finds that in his stoic loneliness amid sex clubs, trashy boys and a deadening office job, he gets "total crymouth." Evident are the trip wires of hurt and fear of rejection that connect the "different" little boy with the sassy young man. Also in plain sight is something the protagonist doesn't see: though true love eludes Mike, he is nonetheless truly lovable. Albo moves fluidly from childhood scenes in which Mike eats sticks of butter on his porch and secretly dreams of being a flashy dancer in satin shorts, to the wily high school strategies he employs to become popular, and eventually to the downtown hipster world that, ironically, mirrors all the hypocrisies and pleasures of his pubescence. While the brilliance of Albo's cynical nostalgia may be lost on those who neither came of age in the New Wave '80s nor participated in the urban retro trends of the '90s, this writer's formidable gift for humor and self-flagellating satire transcends the limits of a generation-X audience. Agent, Tina Bennett. 20,000 first printing; author tour. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Revised ed. edition (September 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060937106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060937102
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
One of the best books I've read in a long time -- much better than Me Talk Pretty -- but Albo writes in an entirely different style. While Sedaris recounts humourous events, Albo recognizes the humor in what being single, gay, and in NY really is about. I'm giving this to everyone I date from now on -- with the words "If this ain't you move along!" Albo, whether he thinks so or not, has it all figured out. My only complaint is I read it in one night and there's nothing left -- where's book two?
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By A Customer on October 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I haven't laughed this hard in years. I haven't had greater insight into the passion and sadness and speedy joy of being in my twenties. The main character in this book basically just gets it - his loneliness and efforts to find love are so amazingly similar to mine. And they're also hilarious. But Hornito not a "humor" book like Art Buchwald or Steve Martin: it's a genuine, truthful tour of the insanity of being single and the most unspoken parts the heart. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! People compare Albo to David Sedaris, but Albo is SOOO much better!! This book is INCREDIBLE.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mike Albo has talent to burn. This adroitly written diary/memoir/fantasia of the past and current struggles of a young man to establish a meaningful relationship in a world that is centered on transience is at once humorous (even hilarious) and soulful (even sad). Albo cleverly writes as though this were an autobiogrphical confession, so much so that it is difficult not to buy in to every bizarre recall and projection. How much of this is fantasy, how much reportage? To this reader there is no discerning that line. Much of main character Mike's recounting of his childhood sexual fantasies and acting out sound like terrific stand-up comedian material, but since they are so carefully woven into the fabric of his young adult escapades as the novel speeds along, they gain credence, and in making all of this story credible, Albo forces us to examine the sociology of the last quarter of the 20th Century. There is a lot of stern observation about our status as social beings. And I think this is the test of a really fine humorist: Make 'em laugh like crazy until they go home and, in solitude, think and even cry a bit. A solid Bravo for Hornito!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Didn't like how it ended per se, but then, I guess it would have been fakey to have all the issues resolved with a "and everyone lived happily ever after.". Albo is a fine writer and this memoir touched a chord, as it will for many gays who grew up as an outsider and then entered the gay world where they continued to feel outiside of the scene because they wanted something more but often settled for something less. Albo is great, but I would not say he was better than David Sedaris at his best. Still, this book was consistently good from good to end and It made me laugh like craz. But once or twice it got me close to crying as I remembered some of my own hopeless early loves that I kept hoping against hope would become the real deal, wishing to elevate an hornito to a palace. I was sad to reach the last page.
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Format: Hardcover
Mike Albo can spot a funny moment and can describe it deftly. This novel, Hornito, is full of these small moments that add up to a light and easy read. The characters are never developed but that could be because the main character never really connects with anyone but it does leave a film of shallowness over the entire surface of the novel. This may work better as a series of monologues but does not entirely hold together as a novel. The territory covered in this book has been covered before by other gay authors. The humour helps create the illusion of originality but it does feel, at times, that one has been here before.
The novel, though, does come together nicely toward the end. There are no big revelations but the small discoveries are handled in a sweetly touching manner that does ring true to the character and to life. It is not a bad read but neither is it a great read. It is a light novel that will fill some time with its humour and then dissappear forever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I spent a thoroughly delightful afternoon with this book and a series of mugs of beer, and I can fully agree with other interviewers that it is an absolute treasure. Relationship problems? You don't know from relationship problems, but Mike Albo does. Literary talent? Doesn't get much better. Making people remember what childhood and adolescence was like for a gay person in America? Oh, yeah. I can't use this book to put down Sedaris, who in my view is also hilarious, in a different way -- "Santaland Diaries", for example, must not be read while eating, because spitting up with laughter is a distinct possibility. I can put up both hands to recommend both Sedaris and Albo. I hope both of them continue to write more and more and more.
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Format: Hardcover
I read the first few pages of Hornito in a local bookstore and was immediately hooked. Not so much hooked by the story, but rather by the piles of description and the absurdity of the situation that opens the book. The main character is sitting in a car in a strip-mall parking lot, waiting for his parents who he is visiting to come back, itching with crabs, but already missing the insanity of life in the city (in this case, NYC).
Although the book opens in the present, the story flashes back to childhood memories. At first, I wasn't interested in reading these flashbacks, as they distracted me from the main story. I wanted to identify with the main character as an adult and see how he resolves his problems. Particularly the problem of forming a real connection with someone in an urban, every-man-for-himself, artificial, market-segment of a world. Once I got into the book a bit, the childhood and teenage memories seemed more relevant, not to mention painful and at times, embarassingly familiar. I found myself laughing aloud many times.
I think the first person point-of-view and the exruciatingly detailed, brand-name description work in this story, because it is so easy to identify with the main character. The experience is universal, but I strongly identified as one who grew up in the 70's and 80's feeling different from everyone else, alone, and who moved to the city filled with romantic ideas about love and life.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars (although I really enjoyed reading it), because so few of the characters really get a chance to be developed and there isn't much in the way of a "traditional" plot. However, the situations, description, and honesty deserve 5 stars.
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