cover image Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer

John Glynn. Grand Central, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5387-4665-3

In this sun-dazed debut memoir about loss, identity, and partying with the preppy set, book editor Glynn turns the magnifying glass on his inner turmoil but never manages to inspire much sympathy for his plight. Raised by happy and loving parents and now working in publishing (currently at Hanover Square), living in TriBeCa, and surrounded by friends, Glynn seems to have it all. Yet, he writes, “I was compulsively afraid of dying alone.” Attempting to escape that torment, Glynn plunked down $2,000 for a summer share in Montauk, on the tip of Long Island in 2013. The weekends of beachy boozing with “the girls, the finance guys, and the gays” are described in detail that will make many readers want to head for Montauk themselves (“the beaches were sweeping and majestic, and the town had a surfery charm”). As a microcosmic rendition of a lost summer’s drunken rhythms and Glynn’s slowly unfolding realization about his own sexuality, the writing resonates with a shimmery tingle (falling for a man, he felt “a kind of giddy, queasy, terrifying downrush”). Glynn’s point of view, however, remains so swaddled in privilege that his emotional distress registers as mere entitlement (“Not everyone had money, but everyone had access”). Ultimately this is a neatly observed but light story about coming out. (May)