Jack Holmes & His Friend

EMMUND WHITE

Knowing White you assume that Jack Holmes is gay but interestingly his friend Will Write is a straight man with whom Jack is hopelessly in love. Holmes is realistic and gets on with his life but always there is a corner of his mind that pines for Write. Holmes is the man who introduces Write to the woman he will marry, Jack’s close friend Alexandra, a New York heiress and beauty, tall and lean, “just a bit brittle,” with “a long, slender neck” and “marsupial ears.” They all arrive in New York in the 1960’s. The first and longest section of the book is narrated by Jack, the second by Will. As always White’s writing is exciting. “I longed to be a pagan, to intuit a god in every mountain, a nymph in every tree. I wanted my gods to be schemers, temperamental bullies ready to ignite and go up in flames. No better or wiser than human beings, just immortal and bigger and more  powerful.” White deeply explores their intimate lives.

An excellent read.

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