It is amazing how Paul Monette deals with such a difficult topic as AIDS. Afterlife is my first fictional, not biographical book by Paul Monette, and I can assure you, I'm going to read EVERYTHING he wrote, and even if I won't like all of his work, I know that I'll never stop to love this author, and I'll never stop to grieve that he lost his life to AIDS that early.
And this story reminds us and helps us to understand and to imagine how it was like. Its a deal, he said in a husky whisperhis ancient bond, worth millions in the days of Bungalow 19. The three are HIV positive and the story takes place at a time when there was no treatment option. It's only a matter of time before AIDS breaks out. Very worth reading.
A riveting story of a group of men who are bereaved and having to deal with life after loss. Together the three men meet other people and circumstances, the pain of their loss never fully healing, but always pushing them forward into new things, new frontiers and realisation. The story deals with the survivors or those who are not dead yet, and provides a realistic glimpse of life after loss.
I am immediately distrustful of a novel in which its central character doesn't really have to worry about money or work and ends up with someone richer and more attractive than anyone who'll ever read this blog. And because this is a gay novel it's clear to everyone that we'll need to "see" this man naked, and hopefully let our stand-in have hot sex with him. Angels in America bills itself as "a gay fantasia on national themes" and I think I wouldn't have had a problem with Monette's novel if it made a similar move at the beginning. The novel satirizes (I think?
I was so enraptured by Becoming a Man and Borrowed Time, that I moved right into Monette's fiction, starting with his first book, and then ground to a halt. The second half of the book the action picks up and at the same time the story becomes more focused on just two people, rather than the confusing eight at the beginning, and the book became good.
I enjoyed Monette's memoir, Becoming a Man, and this one appeared on a lot of classic queer lit lists, though I found it disappointing. It feels like writing - not authentic or particularly natural - although there was enough to keep me interested.
This novel - poignant, wry, and beautifully written - lets us in on what it felt like to be a gay man in the 80s, when the AIDS epidemic started devouring young lives.
In novels, poetry, and a memoir, Paul Monette wrote about gay men striving to fashion personal identities and, later, coping with the loss of a lover to AIDS. After Horwitz's death in 1986, Monette wrote extensively about the years of their battles with AIDS (Borrowed Time, 1988) and how he himself coped with losing a lover to AIDS (Love Alone, 1988). In his fiction, Monette unabashedly depicts gay men who strive to fashion personal identities that lead them to love, friendship, and self-fulfillment. Monette has his characters negotiate family relations, societal expectations, and personal desires in light of their decisions to lead lives as openly gay men. Monette's finest novel, Afterlife, combines the elements of traditional comedy and the resistance novel; it is the first gay novel written about AIDS that fuses personal love interests with political activism. Before the publication and success of his memoir, Becoming a Man, it seemed inevitable that Monette would be remembered most for his writings on AIDS.