(EBOOK) I Pass Like Night author Jonathan Ames
A bisexual man documents his sordid sexual escapades with rando hookups and prostitutes in 80s New York I Pass Like Night is Jonathan Ames first novel and it certainly reads like it The short tenuously connected chapters certainly seem like they were written by someone who doesn t uite know how to write a novel yet while If I d read this book back in the 90 s when I was in my twenties I probably would have liked but not loved it Or maybe it didn t age very well and the charm has disappeared like the neighborhoods this book takes place in "Ames is one of those oft overlooked snarky male memoirists that I just "is one of those oft overlooked snarky male memoirists that I just t et enough of In one of his novels and I can t remember which one it is because in my head they re all a big ball of awesome he just comes right out and says BTW I m not a dead beat dad Here s the situation and my son and I are actually BFFs I love that Because I m usually the one who stops reading and does math to figure out how old someone was when they had a baby and why the baby isn t with them now and who else the baby belongs to Readalikes Anything by Jonathan Ames David Sedaris Augusten
Chuck Klosternman don t know I really really want to like Jonathan AmesI m committed to liking him But I didn t love this Gonna try some Good story but not something to read if you re depressed or sad This is not a cheerful tale Unable to love anyone except one special person revealed at the end Alex finds himself fascinated by female prostitutes uick The Magic Question gay hook ups and possessed with a certain admiration for the drunk and the homeless living in New York City in the late 80s This is not a novel in the true sense of the word but of a collection of vignettes each one offering a uicklimpse into the void and pain that this man is experiencing At first I was uncertain whether this story would really hold my attention but it did Alex is not someone you find yourself rooting for or for whom you have any admiration Instead you only feel pity Nearly a decade ago I was talking to a friend about the film Trainspotting and I wondered how different the book was She said she loved Irvine Welsh and lent me his short story collection Acid House I barely ot through it and returned it with a teeth clenching thanks The content bothered me in the same way the Maruis de Sade did recently It was not just shock value perversion it was aimlessly vile and ugly I might even call it evil but not in the puritanical sense in the humane sense I don t mind tagging along with a character that s doing degrading things but there must be a reason within the plotThis brings me to Ames I Pass Like Night which I believe from some reviews is considered profane and even vindictive It really is not Not at all There are perversions an. When Alexander Vine finishes his work day he leaves his post as a doorman at Manhattan's exclusive Four Seasons restaurant and enters ,burroughs chuck klosternman
Jonathan Ames Ú 5 SummaryBut the replication is used effectively making some particularly comical and resonating scenes He seems to borrow from many authors A
"little carver there a little kerouac here and "Carver there a little Kerouac here and not some Selby while we re at it These authors are all smudged together into something new It is lean and fast and uncomfortable in an all too candid poker faced kind of wayUnfortunately the vignette style comes off as repetitious if one is to read the novel for extended periods but then again it does seem to be designed as a uick pick up for a few minutes every now and then All the same it is an easy read and it sheds light on a life unknown to most It may seem depraved and cruel and cold because it is but there exists some heart and humanity within it as well Even through a narrator like Alex who we never seem to understand even slightly a sense of sympathy and better understanding arises in the reader Self indulgent and boring It is as though the author s pleasure lies in making his reader uncomfortable Worse he is a storyteller not a writer No plot crisis or resolution follows This is Jonathan Ames debut novel and it is structured in a series of small vignettes like tiles on a mosaic that you "Need To Step Back "to step back in order to see the whole picture It s an interesting style and one that Ames has continued to use but this being his first publication it is not the most well formed exampleThe story follows Alexander Vine who charts his life and sordid encounters in late 1980s NYC interspersed with his recent moments of his youth and young manhood Having previously read Ames essays and The Extra Man I could see clearly where he was drawing on some his own life and so this felt very much like a thinly veiled autobiographical piece in placesIt is short easy to read disturbing and profane in places but also touching and endearing in others The ending felt a little underwhelming there was no real redemption or arc for the character but the novel is over 30yrs old at the time of me reading it and concessions need to be made Whilst it s not my favourite of Jonathan Ames works it was his first published novel and I felt that as a fan of his other work I should tick it off the list I enjoyed it for what it was 35 Reminiscent of John Rechy s The City of Night with its clandestine sexual encounters in a city where everyone is hustling in one way or another but missing Rechy s rich prose I loved the stories of the prostitutes best but while Mr Ames s prose was almost powerful and poetic at times he never uite made it there especially with the interludes in italics Maybe there was too much of the protagonist pointing out what a despicable character he was in being cruel to Joy pun intended and finding his father so disgusting and loathsom. Desire and self extinction Alexander Vine charts his destructive course and his struggle for redemption with startling unadorned clari. D degrading moments but they are entirely honest and humane Alexander Vine is a reat character older and smarter than Holden Caulfield but similar The writing style makes an attempt at Hemingwayesue but falls short just a little Alexander s sexual ambiguity his kinship to the underground his fear of commitment and normalcy these are all cathartic for the reader He takes things out to their logical if extreme conclusion and the reader can follow along *vicariously But he s never vindictiveThe true test for books like this is whether or not they define an era place *But he s never vindictiveThe true test for books like this is whether or not they define an era place people in a uniue way without
alienating readers with jargon or difficult language For me this passesreaders with jargon or difficult language For me this passes tests and though this isn t how we may like "TO REMEMBER NYC IN THE 80S "remember NYC in the 80s book could well be regarded as a classic record of that time Solitude in New York City during the eneration of AIDS The underground of sexual depravity and wretched introverts Porn theaters full of men seeking euphoria no woman will ive them riverside bonfires where bums drink away their rotting insides sketchy parks where ood natured prostitutes roam look for tricks to turn The world of Jonathan Ames first novel I Pass Like Night is something familiar yet entirely alien where darkness and perversion are uncorked in an oppressive and overwhelming lonelinessJonathan Ames may now be best known for his HBO TV show Bored to Death The two certainly share similar characteristics However the novel illustrates NYC with a darker much less whimsical perspectiveOur narrator Alex Vine works as a doorman at an exclusive Manhattan Four Seasons restaurant When he clocks out he wanders into the depths of this harsh world He has a tendency to sleep with men when he ets drunk He is fond of a fat black prostitute named Goldie who once An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism gave him oral sex over a condom He reminisces about his past of his father s awkward and traumatic attempts to be a comfort of the scars he has left behind in a childhood friend He falls in love with a despondent woman only to despise her the next moment It was one of those days when every time I went too out the door something rabbed me in the back of the brain and said lie down and masturbate one time Indeed Alex is a complicated and profound protagonistThese stories are chronicled in brief disconnected vignettes The image is of Alex in his apartment after work some night writing them down on bits of scrap paper and placing them face down in a pile Almost all the stories can be told separately and exclusively It is nonlinear but in the end the collection of snapshots manage to form a unified whole Between the stories are haiku like descriptions distinct moments of city life The style is unapologetically lifted from Ernest Hemingway s In Our Time. Nighttime landscape of chance and danger excitement and reinvention in the city's erotic underworld Walking a tightrope between sexual. .