Wayne Hoffman’s An Older Man (Bear Bones Books) is just the type of book I needed this week: raunchy, funny, fast paced and keenly observant.
I’ve labored for weeks on one of last year’s must-reads, meticulously crafted but tediously absent of authenticity or passion. I finally threw it aside and picked up Hoffman’s novella, a sequel to his 2006 Hard, and the simple honesty and openness of its sexuality felt like the first blast of spring after a long, cold winter.
Set in the LGTB resort of Provincetown, MA, during Bear Week, it’s been 16 years since we’ve seen protagonist Moe Pearlman. We follow Moe for seven days of summer holiday frolic with hairy, gay men, also known as bears, but at every turn, time’s passage and Moe’s arrival at middle age loom larger and larger.
Hoffman, who won ALA’s Stonewall Book Award for his Sweet Like Sugar, knows how to keep the pages turning but also how to take us deep, deftly connecting the explicit to the profound.
For me it was a quick, fun read that packed plenty of insight, the perfect antidote to my late winter of literary discontent.