Out East by John Glynn
What’s it about?
This book is a memoir; but it is also a coming of age story and a coming out story. John Glynn was a 27 year-old assistant book editor working in New York City in 2013. Like many of his generation he struggled with feelings of isolation and loneliness- despite his many friends and a loving family. In the summer of 2013 he scrapes together $2000 to join a share house in Montauk. He spends his weekends that summer partying with friends, struggling with anxiety, and coming to terms with his sexuality.
What did it make me think about?
I love reading books so I can see different perspectives. This story is far from my life experiences. This is a book about being a young adult of a specific time, place, and status. We always read that depression and anxiety are on the rise with the Millennial generation. This book is a window into the life of a privileged young man who still struggles. I also couldn't help but think- Wow these people drink a lot! "Why did I get wrecked like that? I drank to have fun, to slow my anxious thoughts, to amplify my humor. But mostly I drank to connect. I wanted to feel a part of something. I wanted to be loved. I longed for someone to know me in all the ways I couldn't know myself. But the drinking didn't always get me there. It often netted out at oblivion."
Should I read it?
I enjoyed this book. I would put it in the quick summer read category. Many people will not get past the world of privilege and indulgence that we read about on these pages. I admit that it is often hard to relate to these people. "In this cocoon of fortune our perspectives flattened. All of our problems existed in one dimensions. Monior vexation and true hardship were one and the same. Small annoyances- an unanswered text, a sold out SoulCycle class, a crippling hangover- rendered us inert. A Starbucks drink made incorrectly was a personal attack." Really- do we really care about these people? It is a testament to John Glynn's honesty and writing skill that I still rooted for him- even though I could not always relate to him.
"At night my thoughts turned dark: I was surrounded by friends, but deeply lonely. Time seemed to pass with no meaning. I worried that life would only get worse. That all the good things- friends, family, nice apartment, good job- would eventually disappear, and I would be left with nothing. I was single because their was something wrong with me. Something hard-wired into my DNA> Something I jdidn;t know how to fix. Either that or I wasn't good looking Or couldn't feign confidence. Or if not one of those things, then something less tangible, some invisible force that bailed my whole being and was entirely exclusive to me. I would die alone I would never find love. i hadn't before and I never would. I would grow old and be poor and have no one and this would happen quickly, because life accelerates, just ook. Yesterday I was seventeen and now I was twenty-seven."
If you like this try-
A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen
Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker
The Swans of New York by Melanie Benjamin
The Unfortunates by Sophie McManus
favorites from 2020
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!