BORROWED TIME: An AIDS Memoir by Paul Monette
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BORROWED TIME: An AIDS Memoir

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A poignant, day-to-day account of two lovers battling AIDS together. Monette (novels: Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, 1978; The Long Shot, 1981; Lightfall, 1982) and Roger Horwitz met at a Beacon Hill dinner party on Labor Day, 1974, and it was love at first sight (""We'd been waiting for each other all our lives""). Both were Harvard-educated; Paul then a poet awaiting publication of his first volume, Roger just starting work at a stuffy law firm. In the heady, liberated days of the 70's, they were the ideal couple--handsome, successful, and, although not completely faithful to each other, only mildly promiscuous. They moved out to California in the early 80's, where Paul began working on Arnold Schwarzeneggar screenplays and Roger realized his dream of opening his own law firm. But in early 1985, after nearly a year of mysterious illnesses, Roger was diagnosed as being approximately the 10,000th person in the US to have AIDS. What followed is an inspiring story of battle against a deadly disease. Paul and Roger became medical experts, bullying slow-moving doctors, reaching out through the grapevine for any information at all on AIDS. Roger took part in UCLA's experimental Surinam program--which did more harm than good--but later became one of the first in L.A. to receive the drug AZT (""the AZT poster boy""), which Monette credits with giving him an extra year of life. Despite everything, Roger died on October 22, 1986, just months after Paul learned that he himself had AIDS. Despite flaws that include a slow start and some purple prose ("" 'Oh, God,' said Roger woundedly""), this is a riveting story--the dark, more personal side of Randy Shilts' And The Band Played On (1987).

Pub Date: June 10th, 1988
ISBN: 0156005816
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich