"Almost Like Being in Love: A Novel" by Steve Kluger

Book Cover

The book is presented as journal entries, newspaper articles, memo's,emails, post-it notes and court records. There is some narrative but itnever detracts from the flow of the book. Seeing the characters throughtheir correspondence and journals gives a very personal view of thecharacters that would be difficult to achieve in a traditional narrativeformat.

Who's who in Almost Like Being in Love:

Craig McKenna

-- The High school all-star quarterback. Liked by everyone. Popular andattractive. Destined for great things. Craig secretly plays the guitarand enjoys singing but has never told anyone. That's not what footballjocks do.

-- Meets Travis when he asks for help on a writing assignment. Theyquickly become friends and fall in love. Craig and Travis live togetherthe summer after high school before they both head to separate coastsfor college.

-- At Harvard Craig tries out for Football but doesn't stand a chanceagainst the bigger guys. Another football jock takes notice of himthough. Craig and Clayton fall in love and settle into a 15 yearrelationship.

-- Craig eventually becomes a lawyer and starts a firm with his collegebest friend Charleen Webb.

Travis Puckett

-- The school geek. Not an ounce of cool. Travis has a Felix/Oscarrelationship with his roommate Gordon. Gordon is a slob. But Gordon andTravis manage to stay friends and end up as house mates in L.A. 20 yearslater. Travis has a love of the theater and collects hard to findBroadway soundtracks. Smart and obsessive. He absorbs knowledge. Craigteaches Travis about baseball and Travis quickly becomes a baseballencyclopedia.

-- After high school, Travis attends college on the west coast. He'accidentally' ends up as a history professor at the University ofSouthern California. He is writing a book called 'Alexander Hamilton andthe Designated Hitter'. His love for baseball has not waned. Nor has hislove for Craig.

-- Travis realizes the love of his life was Craig and wants to see himagain. Wants him in his life again. So begins the search.

Gordon Duboise

-- Travis' roommate in high school. Travis says he's the roommate fromhell. The unsanitary part. Gordon knew Travis was gay before he did.Gordon acts as the voice of reason for Travis. Travis documents hisconversations with Gordon as The Puckett/Duboise Debates.

-- Gordon becomes a successful screenplay writer and lives with Travisin L.A.

Clayton Bergman

-- Craig's partner. He met Craig in college and they fell in love.Clayton owns a hardware store and does construction. He is independentbut insecure, always feels Craig is going to leave him. He doesn't likeCraig protesting or causing trouble and doesn't understand why it isimportant to Craig.

Dr. Louise McKenna

-- Craig's mother. She hates Clayton. She wants son to marry a doctorand is always trying to fix him up. She works in St. Louis as agynecologist.

-- She refuses to help Travis because he's just a history professor. Notgood enough for her son.

It could be said the story is like 'When Harry Met Sally', or in thiscase 'When Travis Met Craig' but that would greatly diminish this book.It is a story of love and love lost and found again. Years pass and thecharacters change and grow. It is a charming and heart warming story.Cleverly and humorously told.

This is one of the few books I have ever stayed up half the night tofinish.

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