The Decade of Blind dates by Richard Alther

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BOOK REVIEW

You may have read other coming out novels but none as unique as this one. The author has written an excellent first novel that will surprise most. It is always well-polished, insightful and poignant.

The story takes place in New England during the late 80s AIDS crisis. Peter Baumen is a 40-something gentleman artist that divorces the wife he still loves and adores to come fully out of the closet. His 10 years of blind dates are set up via the gay print classified ads of the late 80’s. This is long before gay chat sites and the Internet. The classifieds bring all types of men—and I mean all types—to the painter’s rural home and studio. You may easily recognize some, but hopefully not all, of these men. Baumen is a bit slow and careful at times with his blind dates, as he should be. He understands others better than he understands himself—or so it seems.