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My Policeman: NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING…
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My Policeman: NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING HARRY STYLES (original: 2012; edição: 2022)

de Bethan Roberts (Autor)

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6671235,508 (3.92)16
Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML:Now a motion picture starring Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, and David Dawson, an exquisitely told, tragic tale of thwarted love.
??Stunning?fraught and honest.? ??New York Times Book Review

It is in 1950's Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim, gently guiding her through the water in the shadow of the city's famous pier and Marion is smitten??determined her love alone will be enough for them both. A few years later near the Brighton Museum, Patrick meets Tom. Patrick is besotted, and opens Tom's eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world of art, travel, and beauty. Tom is their policeman, and in this age it is safer for him to marry Marion and meet Patrick in secret. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.
 
In this evocative portrait of midcentury England, Bethan Roberts reimagines the real life relationship the novelist E. M. Forster had with a policeman, Bob Buckingham, and his wife. My Policeman is a deeply heartfelt story of love's passionate endurance, and the devastation wrought by a repr
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Membro:alisonfrances
Título:My Policeman: NOW A MAJOR FILM STARRING HARRY STYLES
Autores:Bethan Roberts (Autor)
Informação:Vintage (2022), 352 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca, Lendo atualmente
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My Policeman de Bethan Roberts (2012)

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Told through two narrators, Marion writing her side of the story later in life, and Patrick writing his diary when things are unfolding, this novel is the story of each narrator's relationship with Tom—the brother of Marion's friend who she falls for; the beautiful young policeman who Patrick falls for. That creates an uncomfortable triangle where nobody, except occasionally Tom, gets what they want, and things end in a scandal. The effect of the narrative structure is a strange absence in the middle—both narrators talk about Tom but neither can really talk about how things were like for him, or what he felt. ( )
  mari_reads | Oct 7, 2023 |
Taking place in 1950's Brighton this story follows the intertwining and trajectory of three lives - Marion, Patrick, and their policeman, Tom.
Admittedly this book did not start as I expected and there is definitely a long build-up before diving into what I had expected, because of this it does have a slow start and takes awhile to get into, but once I was invested it was easy to burn through. It is a moving story as much as it is frustrating, both from actions the characters take and the frustrations of a society and legal system that vilifies queer people. I have nothing to note as it is well-written and I liked the story and am glad to have read it, but I don't think it's one that will stick with me for long. ( )
  WhiteRaven.17 | Jun 11, 2023 |
In 1950s Brighton, England, a teenage girl named Marion falls in love with her best friend Sylvie's older brother, Tom. She nurtures a secret crush on him for years, and is frustrated that even after they become friends as young adults — by then Tom has become a policeman and Marion is a schoolteacher — Tom doesn't seem interested in anything more from their relationship. Some offhand comments from Syvie and others could have clued her in to the reason but she refuses to understand their meaning, preferring her fantasy to reality.

Eventually Tom introduces her to his new friend Patrick, a somewhat older man who is a museum curator, to whom she takes an instinctive dislike though she tries to hide it. She is overjoyed when Tom finally proposes, and is only slightly put out when he chooses Patrick as his best man in lieu of Sylvie's husband. They go off for their honeymoon, and after a few days Patrick shows up to hang out with the newlyweds. Marion gets more signals that something is afoot, and eventually even she cannot deny that her beloved Tom is gay, and in love with Patrick.

The uneasy triangle continues for a few years, until one of the trio can't stand it anymore and does something that cannot be undone, changing all of their lives forever.

The structure of My Policeman is interesting. The first part is excerpts from a manuscript that Marion is writing many years after these events. It's 1999, Patrick is ill and has come to live with Tom and Marion. He is physically helpless and cannot speak, but Marion intends to read her manuscript aloud to Patrick. The second part consists of excerpts from Patrick's private journal, in which he details the instant attraction and growing relationship between himself and Tom — "my policeman," he affectionately calls him in the journal so as not to name names.

Marion's 1999 narration takes over again in the final part, which takes on new resonance now that we've gotten Patrick's side of the story. The only member of the triangle who remains virtually silent through the whole book is Tom, who has a few lines of dialogue in his lovers' narratives here and there but whose point of view we never get. I've spent a fair amount of time since I finished the book thinking about why Roberts chose to tell the story this way, but I'm still not sure I understand it. Perhaps she felt the main interest lies in the hands tugging the rope of Tom's affection from either side, and not so much how the rope feels about being pulled.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say there's no neat and happy ending here. I felt sorrow for all three of them, for various reasons, even when they behaved badly. In Patrick's journal, especially, it's wrenching to be reminded of just how perilous being gay in the 1950s could be (a reality that far too many people in the US would like to see return).

I listened to the audiobook , and while that format is not my favorite because my attention span is that of a flea, I thought the narrators (Emma Powell for Marion's segments and Piers Hampton for Patrick's) did a very good job. ( )
  rosalita | Jan 14, 2023 |
Real Rating: 3.75* of five, rounded up because reasons

The Publisher Says: Now a motion picture starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, an exquisitely told, tragic tale of thwarted love.

It is in 1950's Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim, gently guiding her through the water in the shadow of the city's famous pier and Marion is smitten—determined her love alone will be enough for them both. A few years later near the Brighton Museum, Patrick meets Tom. Patrick is besotted, and opens Tom's eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world of art, travel, and beauty. Tom is their policeman, and in this age it is safer for him to marry Marion and meet Patrick in secret. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.

In this evocative portrait of midcentury England, Bethan Roberts reimagines the real life relationship the novelist E. M. Forster had with a policeman, Bob Buckingham, and his wife. My Policeman is a deeply heartfelt story of love's passionate endurance, and the devastation wrought by a repressive society.

I CHECKED THIS BOOK OUT FROM THE LIBRARY. USE THEM OFTEN, THEY LIVE AND DIE ON OUR PATRONAGE.

My Review
: This is a fictionalized version of the actual lived life of EM Forster, his policeman lover Robert Buckingham, and his lover's wife May.

This is also gay trauma porn, a film starring a straight(ish) actor in a gay(ish) role AGAIN, and an accurate presentation of the ways and means used by gay men in the past to muddle through this rough thing we call Life. I had a gay uncle in Buckingham's generation, so I've heard the stories firsthand.

I'm not going to tiptoe around the fact that this book was written more than a decade ago, which means the cultural landscape was quite different. This true story, only lightly fictionalized, has lost none of its power to move someone whose desire is to be let in on the hard, terrible work of loving someone more than they love you back, and the horrible, disfiguring things that jealousy can lead a person to do. I was appalled by Marion's actions in the book, which were NOT the actions of May Buckingham. I truly understand why Author Roberts chose to make this shift, though. The story's drama would've been more literary fiction-lite without it. As it is, this read is much more like sudsy, beautiful Ethan Frome in its impact.

I'm also not going to tiptoe around the fact that Mr. Styles, whose public presentation of self leads me to think this story's lineaments resonated on a deeply personal level with him, is still publicly straight and playing a role where the character's only assuming the mask of straightness where his heart and his cock are engaged elsewhere. Same old, same old...but let me say this now: He does a damned fine job of playing Tom, and he deserves credit for doing the job at all. We're sliding into another darker age for QUILTBAG people, it seems, after some modest gains were made. Mr. Styles's metrosexual-shading-into-heteroflexible persona is very risky, and he doesn't seem to shy away from it as hard as, say, Tom Hanks did after Philadelphia thirty years ago.

The book will be overshadowed by the film for many reasons. Not the least of them is that the film has pretty people who enacted simulated sex for our collective titillation. (Something Mr. Styles does with, erm, style and verve.) That is not, to be blunt, a terrible loss. This book is nicely written, tells an involving story, but it disappeared for most of a decade without leaving a ripple...for a reason.
Because when you're in love with someone for the first time, their name is enough. Just seeing my hand form Tom's name was enough. Almost.

–and–

In those days it was rare, wasn't it, Patrick, for Tom's voice to become what you might call serious; there was always a lot of up-and-down in it, a delicacy, almost a musicality (no doubt that's how you heard it), as thought you couldn't quite believe anything he said. Over the years, his voice lost some of its musicality, partly, I think, in reaction to what happened to you; but even now, occasionally, it's like there's a laugh behind his words, just waiting to sneak out.

–and–

I'd almost forgotten the joy of waking up and, before you've even opened your eyes, knowing by the shape of the mattress beneath you, by the warmth of the sheets, that he's still there.

Nice lines, precise observations, a deft touch in siting them within the storyverse. Nothing at all wrong, or even clumsy, in any of it; take my word for it, were Bethan Roberts to have dropped a clanger I'd've gleefully snipped it out and plopped it here, dripping venom and blood, for your (oh okay, my) delectation. I'm a grouchy old curmudgeon who wanted to dislike this book, and couldn't. I also wanted to dislike Mr. Styles playing Tom, and couldn't. I'm in the nasty, frustrating position of needing to praise, however grudgingly, the film and the book, the actor and the characters, that I wanted to bash.

The film, out on 4 November 2022 via Prime Video, is very much worth your time. The book is as well...buy it if the Kindle edition is on sale, or borrow it from your library if not. Reading the book first will not damage your appreciation for the film nor will seeing the film first make you wonder where the hell they dug that story out of the book from in the first place.

I just wanted excellent, not very good, so I'm out of sorts. That is, however, my issue and not the book or its film's problem. ( )
  richardderus | Nov 1, 2022 |
Set in 1950s Brighton, England and told between the different points of views of Marion and Patrick, two people who are in love with the same man, Tom. In this age, it is safer for Tom to marry Marion and meet Patrick in secret. The two must share him, until one of them breaks and all three lives spiral. Bethan Roberts reimagines the real life relationship of the novelist E.M. Foster had with a policeman, Bob Buckingham, and his wife.

Right, so I totally read this book in anticipation for the movie starring Harry Styles; I always try to read a book before the movie. Would I have picked up this book otherwise? Most likely not. Did I still enjoy it though? Yes.

This book was beautifully heartbreaking and a pretty realistic account of something that could have very well happened in 1950s Brighton.

I wasn’t too keen on Marion and I felt like her parts dragged on a bit. Patrick’s on the other hand always had my attention and was fun to read. I do wish we had more of Tom’s point of view - especially after Patrick was arrested. I kind of felt like his almost hatred of Patrick later on wasn’t fully justified. I also felt like we were never able to fully grasp the depth of love that Tom felt for Patrick. Obviously, it was there, but I just felt like both Patrick and Marion were chasing after him more than he was them. I think having that third narrative of Tom’s would have tied it all together beautifully.

Overall though, I did still enjoy the novel and the story it told. Roberts was really able to capture and describe the time and culture of the 1950s in England. Patrick though, is what saved this novel, and because of him, I will be recommending this book in the future. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Oct 24, 2022 |
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Fiction. Literature. Historical Fiction. LGBTQIA+ (Fiction.) HTML:Now a motion picture starring Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, and David Dawson, an exquisitely told, tragic tale of thwarted love.
??Stunning?fraught and honest.? ??New York Times Book Review

It is in 1950's Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim, gently guiding her through the water in the shadow of the city's famous pier and Marion is smitten??determined her love alone will be enough for them both. A few years later near the Brighton Museum, Patrick meets Tom. Patrick is besotted, and opens Tom's eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world of art, travel, and beauty. Tom is their policeman, and in this age it is safer for him to marry Marion and meet Patrick in secret. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.
 
In this evocative portrait of midcentury England, Bethan Roberts reimagines the real life relationship the novelist E. M. Forster had with a policeman, Bob Buckingham, and his wife. My Policeman is a deeply heartfelt story of love's passionate endurance, and the devastation wrought by a repr

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