Haskell Himself

Fiction - LGBTQ
289 Pages
Reviewed on 09/08/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Haskell Himself is an LGBTQ coming-of-age novel written by Gary Seigel. It was 1966, and Haskell considered his life to be as optimal as it could get. Granted, his single mom worked all hours of the day and night, so they never really did get to see each other, but he loved the prep school he attended, and Miss Hogan, the instructor of his method acting class, had assured him that “he would be going places.” A spur-of-the-moment decision to visit his mom at the Real Estate Conference she was participating in led him to discover that life as he knew it was about to change -- and drastically. His mother had already arranged for Haskell to live with his Uncle Ted and Aunt Sheila in Encino, California. Before he knew it, Haskell found himself living with a real family, complete with a challenging younger sister, and faced with being the new kid at Encino High. To make things even more complicated, Haskell’s first kiss, which happened at a party in New York just before he left, was with a boy.

Gary Seigel’s Haskell Himself is a marvelous and compelling romp set in the late sixties. Haskell is an engaging character whose crooked nose, spindly body, and protuberant ears make him a target at school, yet this reader never really let those physical characteristics do anything more than provide a setting for his new life in Encino. I loved seeing his relationship grow with his Uncle Ted, who seemed to know exactly what to do to help Haskell adapt to his changed circumstances. Aunt Sheila, with her penchant for cooking prepared meals, is the perfect foil that makes this family not a stereotypical one for that era.

Haskell’s friendship with and crush on Henry Stoneman provides riveting reading, and the conflict Haskell feels in deciding whether to share his questions about sexuality with Henry makes the reader cognizant that attitudes about homosexuality were very different than they are now. Haskell’s fruitless attempts to fall in love with a girl from school cannot disguise the fact that he’s into guys, not girls, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Seigel’s story is well-written and moving, and his characters are true-to-life. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading Haskell Himself and only regretted that the story eventually did come to an end. Haskell Himself is most highly recommended.