This novel is a classic. Actually, when I first read it upon publication, the style kind of drove me nuts. But the honesty of the content is astonishing. Of course, Kramer didn't know it, but he was describing a way of life -- the late 70's New York gay party scene -- that was about to vanish into history as a result of the onslaught of AIDS.
Kramer caught considerable flak at the time from other gays who felt he was telling too much, exposing sexual excesses that enemies of gays could use. Only one problem: the lifestyle he was documenting existed, and his take on it was accurate and true.
The novel now stands as a cultural artifact as much as work of fiction. After decades of repression, the gay excesses of the seventies were perhaps inevitable and certainly understandable. But the side-effects of sex as a drug, sex as everything, were not always pretty, and Kramer doesn't flinch from the emotional damage.
It would be nice to think that time has vindicated him, which to my mind it has. But the matter of gay sexuality will probably always remain controversial -- among gays themselves, let alone straights. Kramer's novel stands as a brave and honest record of a brief time when sex (gay or otherwise) seemed to be without consequences.