Reviews

Bookmark and Share

“An endearing debut novel about aspects of love and connection set against the continuing legacy of the Beat Generation.”

—John McFarland, Shelf Awareness

 

“Beatitude, simply put, is an exceptionally well written debut that explores love in all its varied forms, dissecting what it is to love.”

—Lori Hettler, The Next Best Book Blog

 

“Stylish, descriptive and emotionally raw, Beatitude is a calling card for both Larry Closs, the author, and Larry Closs, the man—intrinsically removed, abruptly convincing and familiar—one whose intimate recollection of madness in his own mind surfaces when least expected.”

—Edward Truth, Lambda Literary

 

“Larry Closs’ Beatitude raises multiple, thought-provoking questions about how to define and create boundaries in a relationship without negative repercussions. The blossoming and, at times, tumultuous relationship between main characters Harry and Jay grows and develops into a beautiful story about friendship and much more.”

—Erica Spangler, BookedinChico

 

“Intimate and moving, and with its 90’s setting presenting the tail-end of the Beat generation’s presence on the public stage, Larry Closs has written an intriguing fable about how people can sometimes become confused by the intensity of their passions.”

—Emmet O’Cuana, A Book a Day Till I Can Stay

 

“A warm, uplifting and hopeful story, recommended for contemplative readers who enjoy a thoughtful story infused with the spirit of the Beat generation.”

—Jennifer M., Books, Personally

 

“Closs’s knowledge of and love for the Beats and New York shines through; the atmosphere alone is enough for a Beat aficionado to appreciate this book. But it’s the personal struggles that [narrator] Harry Charity experiences which are at the heart of Beatitude and which give it its poignancy. It’s about unrequited love, relationships, and how we go about finding satisfaction and direction in life. Those are abstract concepts, but Closs’s writing and engaging characters bring them to life in ways which will stay with you long after you finish the last page.”

—Denise Enck, Empty Mirror

 

“I felt utterly drawn in… By the end of the book, I felt like I’d made two new friends in Harry and Jay.”

—Anthony R. Cardno, Chelsea Station

 

“What would happen if you found your soulmate in someone you could never have? The interactions between Harry and Jay describe the depth of this conundrum from the beginnings of an innocent friendship to the eventual depression following unrequited love. I was pulled into the reality of their lives as soon as I “met” them, their characters fully-developed and easy-to-relate to. Everyone has their secret loves, suspicions and fears, and sometimes those feelings can drive us to our most vulnerable points—this is evidenced in Larry Closs’ novel. His writing style captivates the reader… The subplot about Kerouac and the Beat Generation adds to the overall tone; a welcome and interesting addition to the novel… Beatitude brought a generation that I had never heard of back to life… Overall, Beatitude is a well-researched and artfully-written novel about love, obsession, jealousy and the experiences that make us human.”

—Allizabeth Collins, The Paperback Pursuer

 

“Closs masterfully uses dialogue to give us his story and it is dialogue that is filled with passion and the joy of the men discovering a mutual attraction for a time gone by and for each other. We look at fascination for the ideal, the place where we want to be able to be even though we know we may never reach it. I really loved seeing everything fall into place and the way Closs is able to relate that we suffer from wanting what cannot be. This is a human story that is gorgeously rendered and it shows the vulnerability that we all face. Most important is the idea that love is everywhere and it can be ours if we are willing to have it.”

—Amos Lassen, Reviews by Amos Lassen

 

“And that’s the heart of Beatitude:  the reminder that love is love, regardless of whether it’s romantic or platonic. Larry Closs weaves together a beautiful and complicated narrative around this idea. He’s created a novel that shouldn’t be pigeonholed as any one thing: as a love story; LGBT lit; a memorial to the Beats; a book about NYC. Because it’s all those things and more. There are multiple layers to the story Closs has given us, and it’d be a mistake to allow ourselves to get caught up in just one.”

—Tara Olmsted, BookSexy

 

“Beatitude is a fine, poetic book, full of insight and sumptuous writing—perfect for meditation on love and friends.”

—Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print

 

“I’ve never been a fan of the hedonistic beats, but Closs offered a different viewpoint: ‘[B]eatitude was also the word Kerouac used to describe the real meaning of Beat. He felt that Beat meant beatific, not down and out. To be Beat was to be in love with life, to exist in a state of beatitude, to exist in a state of unconditional bliss.’ When I’ve taught the beats in my American Lit classes, I find students are rarely able to relate to that sort of passion and in-the-moment ‘bliss.’ Frankly, I’ve always found it difficult to understand. But that passage made it come together for me. Beatitude. It’s what Harry strives for, and watching his struggle is both edifying and humbling.”

—Jenn, The Picky Girl

 

“Closs’ apparent familiarity with the subject matter, skillful depiction of New York and incorporation of real events (such as poetry readings and museum exhibits) and people lend the book an appealing sense of authenticity.”

—Jameson Fitzpatrick, Next Magazine

 

“[A] well-written and appealing debut novel… Many poets, including Eileen Myles, Bob Rosenthal and Sparrow make appearances, but it is Allen Ginsberg who figures most prominently. A fictional interview at his East 12th Street home feels very realistic and imbues the sometimes irascible Ginsberg with avuncular wisdom… Closs, who has done a great deal of research on the subject, seamlessly weaves Beat history and literature into his novel—just enough for the cognoscenti, but not so much as to overwhelm newcomers to the Beat Generation.”

 —Martha E. Stone, The Gay & Lesbian Review

 

“Beatitude is not a romance but this doesn’t mean it is not a love story. It’s bittersweet but not sad. You arrive at the end with a feeling you would not have minded more.”

—Elisa Rolle, Elisa Reviews

 

“A daring, honest writer with a gritty urban flair, who brings the reader into the new worlds he has created.”

—David Amram, composer, conductor, musician

 

“There is a thrill when you read something so real, so true, that you’re never taken out of the moment by a contrived line or joke. You’re there, in that moment with the characters, living that life. That’s why we read in the first place.”

—Conor Grennan, author of the international bestseller, Little Princes

 

“Larry Closs’s Beatitude is a sharp, smart novel with a human voice… It is a story whose narrator has warmth and it is driven by a dialogue that is convincing and engaging. Yet Beatitude, which takes its title from Kerouac’s extension of the word Beat to embrace notions of the saintly and also incorporates some unpublished fragments of poetry by that other Beat giant Allen Ginsberg in its pages, is more than a mere derivative homage. It is an authentic contemporary account, enlightened by appealing Beat details, but its main strength is in its ability to convey plausible conversations between its believable dramatis personae.”

—Dr. Simon Warner, Beatnicity

 

“Beatitude is an unusual novel by Larry Closs about two young men’s search for the meaning of Beat literature during the 1990s. The heroes of the novel pore over the Jack Kerouac scrolls in the New York Public Library, have a piquant encounter with elderly Allen Ginsberg, and struggle with the epic dimensions of their own changing friendship. This novel reminds me very much of my own travels in post-Beat New York City during the 1990s.”

—Levi Asher, Literary Kicks