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I Loved You More


I Loved You More Cover


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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Nika, June 3, 2014 (view all comments by Nika)
A very interesting and useful book.
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(0 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
LFG, April 22, 2014 (view all comments by LFG)
I loved this book so much. Not only is this novel crafted with impeccable skill--with imagery and language and pacing, its storyline runs as smooth as the steady tug of a perfectly wound ball of yarn, and you can't put it down, except to take a breath and touch your fear that it might end. I was aching to be with these characters, who were so honest and true about their gritty feelings. It opened my heart to a new understanding of the human condition. Following the protagonist, Ben, through the ins and outs of all his experiences and thoughts helped me understand myself better and forgive myself for my own dark choices. I am also mesmerized by the way Spanbauer weaves some kind of magic patterning into his novels, where the same clipped sentence or broken image can make you feel something new and huge each time it appears. He has a beautiful and unique way of writing that I've never encountered before.
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MichelleRenee, April 14, 2014 (view all comments by MichelleRenee)
There are many books I read to escape, they are what I affectionately dub brain candy. Tom’s books aren’t escapist, they’re sinewy and achy, they live in the body. They’re a sort of imagism seared into the body, a living, twisted memory.

‘I Loved You More’ is about a relationship triangle. It’s not even necessarily romantic in nature, but about those relationships that get so close and so much a part of who we are that it’s painful to even move. Propinquity. Hank and Ben meet in a writing class in the 1980s and grow extremely close. There are romantic gestures between the two but it seems to be the romance born of intense love that has no boundary, that wants to show itself in every way possible. Eventually both Hank and Ben move away from New York and start different lives, although the deep connection remains. Ben gets AIDS and goes through the trauma of seeing many loved ones die. His writing student Ruth forms a deep bond with Ben and he with her, although his desires and propinquity are fundamentally at a different place with her than she has for him because he is gay. She also bases the relationship on what she gives to Ben, perhaps to make him beholden to her because she needs love so much, perhaps something else. (Her desires are not questioned a whole lot in the book, everything is filtered through Ben, and Ben doesn’t question why she is giving so much, perhaps because he is so needy himself.) Again, as with Hank and Ben, because of the closeness and indebtedness between Ruth and Ben, the romantic gestures seem to be born of intense love that doesn’t know boundary, doesn’t know what it actually needs, just what it wants in the moment. Because of the relationship unevenness, when Ben introduces Hank and Ruth, things go quite badly, the way deep relationships in mountainous terrain often do. This book plumbs the dimensions of Ben’s closeness with Hank and Ruth. The entire book lives in the grieving body of an older Ben which is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book.

I am a biased reviewer, I am a student in Tom’s class. But this is a great book, regardless of my bias. Let my visceral reaction speak for me, what his book did to my body and my dreams.

When I was done reading I went to sleep. I dreamed of my own friend, about Hank’s age, who recently also died of liver cancer, and who I also was not speaking with because of painful stuff.

Odd dream details like he was inside a rocket ship talking to me. He was dying and talking to me. The rocket went off with him on it and I was on the ground. There was fire all around. Then my brain, I guess, did a kind of loop and dreamed the part where he was talking to me, over and over. I didn’t want to wake up because I didn’t want to stop talking to him. I wanted it to go on forever.

This is the effect ‘I Loved You More’ had on me, the emotions it brought up. It made me sob. 30 pages in I had to get up and wring my hands a little because of the built up emotion inside of me. Walk around, turn in a circle. Drink a cup of cold water. Smile at the person across from me in the café. Remember where I was. Try to not act like a crazy girl who talks to herself, wraps her arms around herself to keep herself from falling out of herself.
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Product Details

Spanbauer, Tom
Hawthorne Books
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9 x 5.5 in

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I Loved You More New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.95 In Stock
Product details 468 pages Hawthorne Books - English 9780986000782 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

No one is better than Tom Spanbauer at exposing the hidden pain inside us. In I Loved You More, he reaches even deeper, plumbing the terror of death, love, AIDS, cancer, propinquity, and the complex business of being a man in the world.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Just when Tom Spanbauer's novel fills you with despair, it picks you up with an absurd, dark humor. Reach for this book if you want a slow, meaty read where you can savor the quirky spoken feeling of the narrator's voice. Read it if you want to hear the lie that tells the truth. If you want to live in the thoughts and pain and discovery and selfishness and generosity of the storyteller.

"Staff Pick" by ,

No one is better than Tom Spanbauer at exposing the hidden pain inside us. In I Loved You More, he reaches even deeper, plumbing the terror of death, love, AIDS, cancer, propinquity, and the complex business of being a man in the world.

"Review" by , "A masterful novel of what becomes of us long after we've 'come of age' and done all the brave things we thought would save us. Tom Spanbauer's pages pulse with life in all its messy beauty." Ariel Gore, Publisher of Hip Mama Magazine and author of How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead: Your Words in Print and Your Name in Lights
"Review" by , "Intelligence, wit, generosity, love, wisdom, insight, humility, guts, heart-crushing truth and spirit-lifting grace — it's all there in I Loved You More. This is Tom Spanbauer's wrenching and beautiful masterpiece."
"Review" by , "I Loved You More is the most important book on sexuality, love, and the low down of relationships that I have ever read. The brilliant language is an epic ballad so deeply rendered it killed me and resurrected me a page at a time. This book is not a love story. It guts the heart of the cliché love story and hands it back to you, beating. Love is the endless falling."
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