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Hardcover The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket Book

ISBN: 0060161620

ISBN13: 9780060161620

The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Before the onset of his irreversible decline, Eddie Socket always suspected he was on the verge of something. Now that "something" has arrived in the form of Merrit Mather, an attractive older... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I Was There and This Novel Rings True

I moved to New York City at the age of 29 on Halloween weekend in 1982. I didn't know I was entering the front door of a devastating health crisis which was going to target people just like me. Gay men. New York was always overwhelming and sexy when I visited in the 70's. In the 80's it was as overwhelming and sexy but men who looked just like me were beginning to vanish before my eyes. I became a volunteer at Gay Men's Health Crisis in part I think because I believed if I rolled up my sleeves and volunteered it would save my life. And it did. The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket rings true to me. Every word. Every character. Every plot turn. Every wickedly funny joke. In the late 70's and into the 80's there were many Eddie Socket's roaming New York City in their pink Keds and many of them died. They didn't receive a featured Obit in the Times. They didn't win a Tony award. They didn't discover a cure to anything. They rarely rose above mediocre temp jobs and deep friendships with slightly overweight gal pals. These thousands of vanished Eddie's are mourned by their chubby gal pals and their divorced parents. But no one else. John Weir gives story and face to people who walk by you on the street every day but who you never see. This is what great novelists do. It's really all they do. And it is more than enough. It is, in fact, heroic. In many ways I think writing a review on [...] is the kind of lonely and slightly meaningless thing a character like Eddie Socket would do. Who will ever read this review? This novel is almost 20 years old. It wouldn't be considered a sensational book world success. But it is a success because it is a wonderful novel. The writing is lush and gorgeous and funny and sad. And I write this little review to witness and pay testimony to that gorgeous writing. Whether the book sold 10 copies or 10,000---it is a success in my eyes. The added tragedy is that many of the Eddie Socket's who migrated to New York City from the farms of America considered themselves writers. Or painters. Or dancers. Or actors. But most died before they finished a book anywhere near as good as this one. Many works of Art and works of mediocrity were lost forever. So we come back to this zippy, sexy novel. It's good. Really. If you don't think so, well, neither I nor Eddie really care. Bravo, Mr. Weir.

A poignant, tender, delightful romp

I have no accolades equal to my love for this book. When I first purchased it from a bargain rack (sorry, Mr. Weir) and took it home, it was expected to be just another of the many bits of gay literature that my best friend and I were constantly reading. That was what, 10 years ago? It is the only one of the books we read during that time that we still quote. The only one we both remember well enough to do so... Eddie and Merritt and Saul and Polly became parts of our lives. The first time I read it I literally couldn't put it down. I read it cover to cover in one sitting while my husband threw quizzical glances my way. He had never heard me laugh aloud while reading. Nor had he seen me brought to tears by a book before this one. I consider it a masterpiece, a candid snapshot of a place and time filled with heartbreak, despair, and a joie de vivre equal to that found in so many of the great novels.

A thoughtfully complex reading experience

I sometimes rush through novels rather quickly. With this one, I kept reading it a little a time, even switching to other novels that I had told someone I'd read. However, I never lost interest in it. Something about this book made me keep wanting to enjoy it over time, and it almost disappointed me when I reached the end. I loved the ending, and the entire book, but its episodic nature and its wild mixture of narrative devices made it a reading experience I kept wanting to sustain. The main character's relationships with his mother, his lovers, and the world bring up a host of insecurities, further complicated by AIDS, materialism, and deep longings. John Weir makes readers laugh, while he treats them to a thoughtfully complex reading experience.(Duane Simolke's books include The Acorn Stories, Degranon, and New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio.)

Sorry, dude

It's me, John Weir, responding to the guy/girl who hated my book so much. Yo: I hate it, too. It's over-written, and I didn't make nothing in royalties. Plus, where was the hype? Was I hyped while I wasn't looking? Dude, it sold 4000 copies. Dave Eggers is hyped. I'm a clown who wrote a book. I won't argue that it's "silly" or, whatever, "trivial." Anyway, those are two of my favorite qualities. As for exploiting AIDS, well, I gotta ask: do the words "dying homosexual" make anyone *you* know run to the nearest bookstore? If I was gonna exploit something for laughs and personal gain, I would've picked a topic that sells. I wish I were more of an exploiter! Then I could pay the Parking Violations Bureau. It is of course true that all - count 'em - six of my blurbs were written by my friends and students. Apparently they hadn't heard that I give *A*s to everyone anyway. You should know that my next book is one long grim and unrelenting dirge about tragedy and loss. Of course, it's set in New Jersey.Bringing fine fiction to satisfied readers for over a decade, I remain, your humble author,John Weir.

A great book.

This is a remarkable novel: it's great to see it back in print. The story of Eddie Socket and his friends and family--Polly Plugg, Merritt Mather, Saul, Eulene, and, yes, Doris Day and Joseph Stalin--is touching and funny at once, and the novel's a strong commentary on the United States in the 1980s ("the pure products of America go crazy"; who am I quoting?). This is one of the most complex and rewarding works of art to come out of the AIDS crisis.
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