Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave

 (image from Goodreads)

After the boring repetitiveness of Under the Tuscan Sun, I’ve made it a mission to read a little bit of the book I plan to read on my commute so I’m not stuck reading something dreadful. So, last night I started reading Holding the Man. I finished it this afternoon.

I bought Holding the Man as one of the Popular Penguins series. I thought it was about AFL (Australian Rules football), given the title. I suppose you could say that it is, a little- Tim falls in love with the captain of the footy team at school, John. So begins a love affair that ends with John’s death.

I found the initial chapters rather graphic in places (perhaps not suitable for public transport if you have people who read over your shoulder) but not offensive. I enjoyed the transcription of their lives, right down to recreated conversations. I found the description of the medical treatments very interesting (and nearly all factually correct, a rarity in today’s lack of fact checking world), especially in regards to how much HIV and AIDS treatments have progressed since John and Tim contracted the disease.

This may not be for the fainthearted as there are many sexual references, as well as a poignant farewell to John, but it’s definitely an eye opener and I’m glad I read it.

8 out of 10.

One thought on “Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave

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  1. As you had enjoyed this book I got it from my local library and surprisingly I also enjoyed it.
    Thank you for the suggestion as it is not the type of book I would normally select for myself.

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