Just finished this one and I must say it represents everything I hate in a single book.
This story is not only dull, but dangerous.
Yet more AIDS identity literature, this novel tells the story of a timid young lad arriving in paris.
The first three quarters of the book are taken up by his observations of those around him and his endless tired winging about his lack of sex-life.
His exclusion from the goings on of the Parisian gay world are emphasised when aids arrives on the scene... He has "sadly" remained negative, and looks longingly at those around him as they struggle "heroically" with the disease.
Finally, in the final chapter AIDS "saves" him.
He realises that to "belong" he will inevitably catch the "gay" disease and die "proudly" from it.
This is gay literature at its most stupid, and would be amusing as such were it not so dangerous.
Aids is not a "gay" disease... Ask some Africans about it.
It's not "inevitable" to catch it... Ask any gay man with a condom in his pocket.
It's not "heroic" to sit on the toilet all day with AIDS or treatment-induced diarrhoea.
And there's nothing proud about dying stupidly of an avoidable disease.
As an older gay man who has made great efforts to enjoy his sex life whilst remaining negative and healthy, I find the premises of this novel both insulting and offensive.
In these days of a very loud HIV+ minority and a very quiet HIV- majority, the gay world looks to newcomers as if the only way to belong is to join those who don't want to stay alive enough to use a condom.
The message of these "AIDS as identity" novels is pitiful and terrifying.
Youngsters know this. You don't need AIDS in order to get an identity; you just need a life to live and a little respect for yourself and your partners. And you don't need to be a monk to avoid the disease. You just need a condom.