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The Weekend: A Novel [Paperback]

Peter Cameron
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 31 2009

On a midsummer weekend, in a country house in upstate New York, three friends, Lyle, Marian, and John, gather on the anniversary of the death of John's brother, who was also Lyle's lover. As Tony's absence haunts each of them in different ways, the reunion is complicated by the presence of Lyle's new lover, a much younger man named Robert, and a faux-Italian dinner guest with a penchant for truth telling. As the seemingly idyllic weekend proceeds, each character is stripped bare, and old memories and new desires create a chemistry that will transform them all.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Vapid dialogue and a uniformly languid cast of characters doom this sporadically insightful novella that explores themes of bereavement, change, love, loneliness and the quest for connection. A year after the AIDS death of a loved one, three friends are reunited for a weekend at the upstate New York country house where they used to convene in summers past. John and Marian, half-brother and sister-in-law of the late Tony, have permanently fled Manhattan for a life of leisure in this idyllic riverfront home. Tony's lover, Lyle, an art critic and lecturer, pays his first visit since Tony's death, bringing along his new young paramour, Robert, an aspiring painter. Stymied by insurmountable tensions and inner conflicts, this mildly neurotic group fails miserably to resuscitate past contentments. Aging Europhile neighbor Laura Ponti, whom Marian invites to dinner, faces similar disappointment in her efforts to invigorate ties with her daughter. Cameron ( Leap Year ) interposes vignettes from Tony's lifetime between pieces of the currently developing plot and, through frequent shifts in point of view, takes the reader into the listless mind of each of his characters. The contrast between his rather elegant prose and their insipid, unconvincing speech, however, contributes to an unfortunate emphasis on explication at the expense of illustration, leaving the reader with little attachment to this sorrowful group of survivors.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Poor Robert. A young painter, he's invited to the country by his new love, Lyle, a middle-aged art critic and a bit of a prig. They are off to stay with the useless John and the unappealing Marian, a rich married couple and Lyle's best friends. Their house is also where Lyle's lover Tony died, exactly one year ago, as we creepily learn. And not only was Tony Lyle's lover, he was also John's half-brother. Get off the train!, you want to yell to Robert. But by the time all the pieces are in place it's too late, and the beautifully controlled horror of the novel has begun. Tensions develop rapidly on all fronts: between the generations, between the new lovers, between the past and the present, between those with hope and those without. And just when you think that the story of this weekend is all memory and conversation, things start to happen. This brief novel confirms what readers of Far-Flung Stories (LJ 9/15/91) and Leap Year (LJ 3/1/90) have long suspected: Cameron is one of our very best writers. For all fiction collections.
Brian Kenney, Brooklyn P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
FOR A FEW MINUTES after the sun rose the world was quiet and still and everything human seemed far away, as if the tide had gone out. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars simple, quiet, yet profound and disturbing March 28 1999
By A Customer
i bought this little hardback at an australian gay book store 3 years ago cos it was discounted and i liked the cover. having just finished it this weekend, i have to say i am glad i did buy and not read it then. it is a simple worded story. no obvious pompous imagery or over the top philosophy (though i did cringe a little during the dinner exchange, which bordered on the preachy). yet under the uncluttered language hides a tumultuous cast of characters with an equally tumultuous sense of self. they all present that sturdy, friendly, "oh, i like you" facade in front of strangers, only to crumble when confronted by themselves and, unwittingly, others.

what is absolutely wonderful is the handling of the idea of truth (absolute and relative, pun intended) and the sense of your place in the world. in trying to figure out who you are, where you are and how you are doing in this thing we call "life", peter cameron has shown us a few different, very disparate examples. they are for us to look at, laugh at, identify with or mistake, like for, where looking at it as explicitly gay literature has made him/her miss the point totally, and which depth was never insisted, but loomed very darkly over all that seemed frivilous and flippant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A small yet substantial masterpiece Aug. 30 2001
Peter Cameron's gifts as a writer are plainly on display in this beautiful novella of friendship, grief, hope, and honesty. The language is gorgeous (his background as a poet puts him many levels above most writers of the time) and his characterizations are realistic, almost painfully so at times. It's a shame that more people haven't discovered this extremely talented writer. He's right up there with Michael Cunningham, whose book "The Hours" has a similar calm and introspective tone. That isn't to say the two books are the same--just that they handle some rather deep and philosophical ideas without becoming indulgent or heavy-handed. "The Weekend" is a deceptively easy read, but it will leave you thinking and wondering long after the last page is turned.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The weekend's over but the story's just begun. March 12 1999
By A Customer
The weekend's over but the story's just begun to make sense of its well-plotted ground, unplanting a pair of buried scissors which cut the paper-thin skin of well-seeded grapes. The cut grapes cry over spilt juice which runs like tears in the surface of a river which runs toward a house whose dry insides would surely comfort, if anyone were home. But they're all outside, discussing this (not to mention--except ever-so-discreetly--that), missing the train of thought that brought them together (and which will, later, by car, drive them apart). If a painting could tell their story, should it? And who could, who should, tell the painting to tell the story, just as it was written and just as exactly? Neither you nor I nor you nor I nor you nor I nor you nor I nor...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wondrous July 7 2002
One summer weekend in upstate New York, three friends gather on the anniversary of the death of the man who was their centerpiece. The widowed boyfriend's new lover and a surprising dinner guest disrupt the memories and push the tension of the trio into clarity for each as they struggle to regain something lost. Cameron's exquisitely written novel weaves flashbacks into the story, giving the whole an almost lazy summer day atmosphere, just like what the weekend was supposed to be for the characters. Not only is the story beautifully told, but the personal epiphanies of the characters are almost startling in context of the tale, and the human truths about loss and perception are quite universal and sharply rendered. This is a book to treasure.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Touching Book June 19 1998
By A Customer
I read this book in High School (which makes it a good 3-5 years ago), and I don't remember the book exactly, but I was really touched by it. I even copied down a whole paragraph from it because it was so profound. Part of it is "There are things you lose you do not get back. You cannot have them ever again, except in the smudging of a carbon copy of memory." I originally chose it because I believe it was summer, and I wanted a small, short-ish book to read. It was new in the library, so I checked it out. I don't know how many people read these recommendations, but I highly recommend it if you like touching, realistic stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and Complex Jan. 19 2001
Peter Cameron has succeeded in creating a world filled with rich, human characters caught up in the tangled web of love and loss. The story moves along quickly over the time span of one weekend spent in the country. By far, Cameron's strength is his use of dialog. He masterfully conveys what his characters are feeling in a clear and emotional way. We come to learn so much about these people from what they say to each other and what they struggle to articulate and define for themselves.
Realistic and not at all overly sentimental, The Weekend will soon be a major motion picture. I hope the film lives up to the book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic Aug. 16 2000
I read this book a few years back and decided to read it again recently. I remembered loving this book when I first read it and my second read confirmed why I loved it so much. It's just that Peter Cameron has an amazing way with words. In this book, he makes you understand each character by digging deep into their emotions and thoughts. This story feels so real and beautiful, even though this book's characters experience loss and discover the worst things about themselves. This truly is a great book.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Juvenile.
Look, I gave up on this book way too early to even be writing a review. I just want to suggest to readers unfamiliar with Camerson that they may prefer to start with Cameron's... Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2002 by algo41
5.0 out of 5 stars A Small Surprise
This is a very strange, quiet and unsettling book that I would recommend reading. It's like reading a foreign film: minimal plot, GREAT character development and lines that seem... Read more
Published on Oct. 23 2001 by T. Gabrielli
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Peter Cameron's novel is such a pleasure to read!
Published on Sept. 18 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars ...
A dear friend suggested that I read this book, and I sped through it on the way home from visiting my parents for Christmas. Peter Cameron has a way with people. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2000 by Lee C. Houck
5.0 out of 5 stars People are Funny
I just saw the movie adaptation of this novel and it was everything I hoped it would be. This was one of the first gay-themed novels I read after coming out and I will always... Read more
Published on Dec 19 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The Weekend
The best book I have ever read in my life.The language is so beautiful.... Syntax, words, pause, everything is beautiful. It is such a heart-healing book.
Published on Dec 4 1999 by BOOK READER
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read.
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. In fact, I re-read it every few years. The setting and the relationships between the characters are intense. Read more
Published on July 7 1999
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