“A great read. A researcher has written a memoir that reads like a novel. This is a book about deep friendships and how they do and don’t develop. We learn about the author’s family and how family dynamics produced a sensitive caring individual, then an academic sociologist and social-work researcher who managed to remain a caring individual. Predictably, most of his friendships are men who are occupationally related and offer insights about how institutional demands and concerns exert an influenced those relationships. When the researcher occasionally and inevitably emerges, research issues are explained succinctly and simply enough for the layperson to understand. But while the book is largely about male friendships in an academic context, it mirrors lives of men and women in offices, stores, factories etc.
The majority of individuals described in the book are no longer alive, continue to be missed by the author but have been brought back to vibrant literary if not literal life for those of us who didn’t know them but now wish we had. As a psychologist and a personal friend of the author, I would be eager to see another book that focuses on those us who are still breathing. “Eager” is too weak a word for each of us in that position—including him.”