... an unforgettable story of resistance, trust, faith and love. Starting with the novel's opening pages, Guggenheim fellow Ellen Feldman immediately grabs readers' hearts and never lets go ... The best works of historical fiction have a way of illuminating the present, allowing readers to better understand themselves through well-defined characters reflected in the prism of time. In Paris Never Leaves You, Ellen Feldman does this beautifully in a multi-layered, tender story that explores the emotionally charged, often parallel terrains of truth, deception, love and heartbreak ... That said, Lansky is a piercing observer of gay men and the often fraught relationships we have with our own bodies ... To anyone who thought Obergefell v. Hodges (the 2015 Supreme Court decision that affirmed same-sex marriage as a constitutional right) put an end to gay shame in America, Broken People provides a contradictory vision. We need more books like Lansky’s, ones that investigate why political progress doesn’t always translate to self-acceptance for queer people. But I can’t help thinking this particular argument would have been stronger if the protagonist had declined to take his agent’s advice.
There’s the strength of Lansky’s writing, which has an easy humor combined with some of the rough edges of early Bret Easton Ellis. And he writes with depth and candor about male body image, a subject that tends to get short shrift in fiction. A late section of the novel smartly explores how insecurity and anxiety turn into paranoia and sickness ... Lansky has plenty of keen observations, but deserves a stronger novel to support them.
...the most compelling is Sam’s thoughts and beliefs around HIV, which are surprising, nuanced, and compelling ... The novel captures a very now portrait of contemporary privileged gay male life, narrated in an authentic voice and painted in a full, ugly-to-beautiful spectrum.