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Sam shook his head. "...I realized that I wasn't the only one with my problem, and that my problem wasn't the only problem in the world. Everybody has problems that drive them crazy, and most people never solve them. I asked myself if I really thought my way of life was wrong, or if in thinking so I was merely genuflecting to the ideas of other people. For years I had pretended to myself that I would change. I admitted finally that I was a homosexual, that it wasn't a phase, and it wasn't a disease."

Sam is wonderful if only for the fact that it was first published in 1959! Plot revolves around gay Sam and his best friend Addie. Sam is not the often seen gay character who is comic relief or ends up getting murdered or committing suicide. The book has wit, some snappy dialogue and some rather dark turns - there's a bathhouse scene that I'm sure would have been more than scandalous at the time. Pay special attention to the butler and the cat; they are hilarious and offer insight regarding the other players.

The book reads a bit like an old black and white movie that is discovered on a sleepless night. Shiny men and women played by yesteryear's Hollywood royalty trading quips and being witty and drinking martinis; hopes and fears are revealed as we cut to the bedroom scenes.

The fag/hag (yes i can say that! but i wish we could invent a better phrase) relationship is explored with gentleness and understanding. Deeper than friendship and sometimes more intimate than physical love, the bond between the gay and his gal can (and will as its nature!) be destructive to those within its bounds and those outside of it.

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