by Edmund White
Edmund White portrays his younger life in a narcotic and poetic style. not exactly the most flattering self-portrait... the protagonist's travails are emotionally affecting yet he remains creepily distanced from the events and people in his own life - in particular from his equally creepy, distant, self-absorbed father. the apple does not fall far from the tree, i suppose. overall, the language is some of the most beautiful, in my experience, of all of gay fiction - rivaling even Giovanni's Room. the prose is sometimes so gorgeous it becomes hypnotic. the man certainly knows how to write!
the episodic nature of the book - in some ways disguised by the circular narrative - is rich with at times dreamy, other times cruelly crystal clear recountings of key moments in this boy's life. i was so impressed by this one that i've forced a couple friends (straight ones) to give it a go. unfortunately, they both found the narrator to be, well... "poisonous" would be an accurate word, although i'm sure stronger, angrier words were used. i suppose i can see that. but the narrator is a character of depth, full of wry introspection and canny circumspection. he lives in a marvelously layered and mysterious world, one where he often turns out to be more predator than prey. the whole thing flows together in a way that is impressively cohesive and memorable. a very individualistic achievement in the Gay Coming of Age subgenre.
plus i've never read a more sinister depiction of a blowjob in my life!