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Publisher's Summary

Set in the 1980s against the backdrop of a swiftly gentrifying Manhattan, The Lost Language of Cranes tells the story of 25-year-old Philip, who realizes he must come out to his parents after falling in love for the first time with a man. Philip's parents are facing their own crisis: pressure from developers and the loss of their longtime home. But the real threat to this family is Philip's father's own struggle with his latent homosexuality, realized only in his Sunday afternoon visits to gay porn theaters.
Philip's admission to his parents and his father's hidden life provoke changes that forever alter the landscape of their worlds.
As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of David Leavitt's book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview that begins when the audiobook ends.
This production is part of our Audible Modern Vanguard line, a collection of important works from groundbreaking authors.
©1988 David Leavitt (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Fascinating. Lingers in the mind...Mr. Leavitt''s sense of pacing, his graceful sentences and his storytelling ability dovetail nicely." (New York Times Book Review)
"A brilliant, wise first novel. The delight of the book is Leavitt''s style. It flashes with pathos, anger, and camp wit; it rises to a subtle urban lyricism." (Vogue)
"An amazingly perceptive novel." (San Francisco Chronicle)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Marco on 03-30-14

Bildugsroman for a gay man

If you could sum up The Lost Language of Cranes in three words, what would they be?

Hopeful, Desperate, Grey. Hopeful because at the end there's a thin veil of hope for all the characters. Desperate because fear is at the basis of many of the relationship in the novel. Grey because that's the color that comes to my mind if I think about the characters, the setting, the plot.

What did you like best about this story?

This is a bildungsroman for a young gay man and, at the same time, for a middle-aged man. They both have their path to follow and in the end they are on the same road.

Have you listened to any of Jonathan Davis’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The Windup Girl. He's a very good performer. With that book I followed along with the text and his work was very, very good.

If you could take any character from The Lost Language of Cranes out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Jerene, of course. :-)

Any additional comments?

For a gay man, this is a must, Like "Maurice" by Forster. Even if you are not gay, there's plenty about relationships that makes the few hours spent reading the book well spent.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Kelly on 06-14-18

Beautifully quiet exploration of Love.

This is a beautiful book with characters who will stay with me for a long time. Owen and Philip are interesting and well-developed. Leavitt uses the fact that both men are gay as a way to show various struggles of coming out and self-acceptance. It is a lovely exploration of the reactions from those we love. As the mother of an LGBTQ child I found myself experiencing many feelings. I was at times sad for Owen, worried for Philip and angry at those they loved.

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