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I think it's well-written and an important memoir that talks about a time in queer history that's not particularly well-documented or even acknowledged, yet I had the same issue with it that I had with Maya Angelou 's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ; I felt like what comes immediately after the end sounds more interesting than what I've just read. Unlike Angelou's book, what I read in Brown's was actually fascinating Where's that story? Midnight Cowboy?

Apr 23, Jessica rated it really liked it Shelves: lgbt-books. Really glad that I read this. I can't quite put my finger on what made this book so magical for me, other than it being a rare first hand account of gay history. Sadly I'm just in sort of a daze or else I could probably explain what I mean in a more eloquent fashion.

It is just that, as a queer person, so much of your history is erased and invisible that some Really glad that I read this. It is just that, as a queer person, so much of your history is erased and invisible that sometimes you almost feel like you don't exist at all. And just seeing yourself reflected in the story of someone else who came before you - it makes you feel more whole.

Gay Men And The Covert World Of Working Class Homosexuality

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book to anyone, gay, straight, or otherwise inclined. I just wish I had better words to explain how marvelous and fantastic it is. Guess you'll just have to find out yourself, if you decide hopefully to take a chance on it. Oct 18, Skip rated it really liked it. I was really in the mood for something with a historical context. There's tons of writing out there which is set in the s, both fiction and nonfiction, but to see the era through gay eyes is pretty interesting. It's a whole new vantage point. And it's nice to hear it all feels like a conversation, someone reminisce about their history.

It all has a real "back in the day," sort of sound. It kind of reminds you of the days when a gay bar was a kind of clubhouse. The place where you met up I was really in the mood for something with a historical context.

Book Club: The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s :: Newfields

The place where you met up with friends, got the talk on the town, picked up tricks and just sort of people watched. The days before chat rooms on gay. And those photos of Ricardo Brown Especially the shots of him in his Navy uniform Lordy, he must have been a popular boy back then Jan 31, Martin rated it really liked it. I've probably added an extra star for content not found on the pages of this book. It's a slim volume well worth the read I've read it several times , but it will leave you wishing for more details concerning just about everything.

It has provoked more thought on my part than most books I've read in recent times. In pondering the lives of the people whose story is just barely told here I find myself drifting off into a series of what ifs, wondering what would I have done. Then I go back to the I've probably added an extra star for content not found on the pages of this book.

In this Book

Then I go back to the text looking for hints to answers that really aren't to be found. Sep 29, Tim rated it it was amazing.


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  6. The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s — University of Minnesota Press.

Brown provides a frank, slightly gritty view of gay life in a place far from the east and west coasts that gay histories typically reflect. It's an important little book because it documents the experiences and thoughts of "regular guys" who dealt with stigma of gay life in the midwest of the s.

While the book is unapologetic in its descriptions of the people, places, and events, there is an undercurrent of self-loathing that says as much about the social mores of that place and time as it d Brown provides a frank, slightly gritty view of gay life in a place far from the east and west coasts that gay histories typically reflect.

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While the book is unapologetic in its descriptions of the people, places, and events, there is an undercurrent of self-loathing that says as much about the social mores of that place and time as it does about the author's own feelings. Dec 18, George K. Ilsley rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , memoir , gay. A spare novella of a memoir, leaving one with the sense that Brown intended to write more, but these scenes from a bar in St.


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  • Paul are as far as he got. It is a sad echo, leaving one with the feeling that Brown was editing himself, still suffering from the feeling that there were things which must not be said. This short memoir leaves much unsaid, and even if we had followed the writer further in his life, much more would have been left unsaid.

    This approach, given the times, feels authentic -- A spare novella of a memoir, leaving one with the sense that Brown intended to write more, but these scenes from a bar in St. This approach, given the times, feels authentic -- and thus the sadness evoked by this glimpse of a fearfully closeted life. Aug 14, Milo rated it liked it Shelves: kah-weer. This was an OK memoir of gay life around Kirmser's in St.

    Overall I enjoyed the stories, but found the prose to be a bit disjointed. Brown had a tendency to swap nicknames for real names without a lot of forethought. It was also somewhat surprising to see how dehumanized these men felt toward themselves and each other in a time when the future was looking a little bright. A great little memoir of s St. Kirmser's was a pub owned by a German couple.

    During the day, blue-collar working men patronized it. At night, it was a secretive meeting spot for gays and lesbians. Though short, it's quite evocative of the era and of the difficulties of love that was illegal. Feb 19, Michelle Duncan rated it it was amazing. I read Kirmser's as a required text for a history course at university. This book is fantastic and provides unique insight to homosexuality during the ss. Brown's narrative serves as an educational and fascinating primary source.

    Readers should prepare themselves for graphic details of the challenges gays faced in America during the Cold War. Jan 11, Vladimir rated it liked it. Very readable even if slightly repetitive. An interesting look into a small town gay life in the '40s, a world not all too frequently explored, which makes this short memoir a valuable resource. Recommended for a relaxing afternoon read, but if you are looking at a comprehensive look at the epoch this is not the place. Feb 23, Joseph Longo rated it it was amazing.

    This is an excellent piece of gay history. It is a compelling memoir about the life that gay men built for themselves after WWI. As is stated on the back cover: "A fascinating portrait of working-class gay male life in the post-war period. It is pretty interesting. Jul 04, Edgar W rated it really liked it. A small book but big in content. I felt so connected with the people in this memoir. As it ended, I felt a need to eventually know more about what happened to the "Crowd" after the author left for NYC. A good book and hopefully will read again. Aug 19, Flungoutofspace rated it liked it.

    Very well written and a moving story from a time when it was much more difficult to live as a gay man. However, times are reflected also in the writer's bias against women, non-white folks and effeminate gay men, unfortunately. May 11, Austin rated it really liked it. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best Selling in Nonfiction See all. Open Borders Inc. Save on Nonfiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days.