Horse Crazy by Gary Indiana

A few months ago I read Gary Indiana’s anti-memoir, I can give you anything but love. When I read it I resolved to read one of his novels to see if they had more merit and story to them than the memoir. After a few weeks I looked him up again and found a review of Horse Crazy that suggested it was his best novel (although such things are subjective).

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The novel set in New York, is about a gay writer in his mid-thirties who falls in love with a younger man. It is obvious from early on that the young man is a sociopath, but the main protagonist is obsessed with him and thinks they are in love even though the relationship is totally chaste. As the novel progresses the relationship gets deeper, and the shadow of AIDS lingers over it all.

I found this novel to be okay, but I had the same unexcited feeling that I did with his memoir, and found I had to push myself to read it. I don’t know if it’s his style of writing, or the subject matter, but I didn’t find much to make me feel that I had to keep reading. Fortunately it was a short book, so I didn’t struggle for too long. I think the sociopath trope was probably what turned me off it. I know people who’ve been in relationships with sociopaths, but I haven’t and could not identify with the powerlessness experienced by the main author in his destructive relationship.

I don’t think I’ll seek another Indiana novel for a while, because I probably wouldn’t be able to read it with an open mind. I need to forget about him for a while and see if when I come back to his work if there is anything I like.

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