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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Literary
  • Language:English
  • Pages:356
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098395629
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098395612

The Odds of Heaven

by Tom Houston

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Overview

When Tom Houston came to New York in the late 1960s the city had just begun to explode with new possibilities for gay men and women. An early gay activist, he stood witness to the revolutionary, sexual fervor of the 1970s and its collapse due to AIDS in the 1980s. This is the period during which the action in The Odds Of Heaven takes place. Over decades living in New York, he encountered a constant stream of odd and fantastic people, some famous but most not well known, and has developed a peculiar way of viewing the world that is expressed through the lives and perplexities of a group of characters, each one the victim of a unique personal struggle. In the novel, three women ̶ a single professional chasing random sex, a childlike hoarder of street trash, and her matronly aunt ̶ are thrown together with a young gay man nursing a betrayal and a failed, alcoholic poet to make up a loose clan centered in Greenwich Village during the 1970's. Over the next two decades, they live out eccentric, hedonistic lives. But on the periphery, just out of sight, someone becomes intent on inflicting terrible harm to one of them. When he acts, each life is changed in subtle, unexpected ways. The author charts the development of each of his personalities with nuance and humanity. Despite a world in which terrible things can happen at any time, by the end of The Odds of Heaven those who survive the tumult find that something new and solid awaits.

Description
When Tom Houston came to New York in the late 1960s the city had just begun to explode with new possibilities for gay men and women. An early gay activist, he stood witness to the revolutionary, sexual fervor of the 1970s and its collapse due to AIDS in the 1980s. This is the period during which the action in The Odds Of Heaven takes place. Over decades living in New York, he encountered a constant stream of odd and fantastic people, some famous but most not well known, and has developed a peculiar way of viewing the world that is expressed through the lives and perplexities of a group of characters, each one the victim of a unique personal struggle. In the novel, three women ̶ a single professional chasing random sex, a childlike hoarder of street trash, and her matronly aunt ̶ are thrown together with a young gay man nursing a betrayal and a failed, alcoholic poet to make up a loose clan centered in Greenwich Village during the 1970's. Over the next two decades, they live out eccentric, hedonistic lives. But on the periphery, just out of sight, someone becomes intent on inflicting terrible harm to one of them. When he acts, each life is changed in subtle, unexpected ways. The author charts the development of each of his personalities with nuance and humanity. Despite a world in which terrible things can happen at any time, by the end of The Odds of Heaven those who survive the tumult find that something new and solid awaits.
About the author
Tom Houston is a gay man living in New York City. He was educated at William & Mary and CUNY where he received a degree in history. His wide-ranging interests, including science and philosophy, have created an interest in how cause and effect grow out of random events effecting people's lives. The Odds of Heaven is his first novel. He is currently writing a second work of fiction as well as a series of short-story memoirs about the New York underground culture of the 1970s.
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