A sleazily well-written gay Lolita, with an gay alcoholic 16-year from Kentucky as our protagonist. Reading it as teenager years ago, I remember being shocked and turned on, a little repulsed and a lot impressed. I just picked it up again, reading it in one marathon 4-hour jaunt. It has stood the test of time quite well, still a little creepy but like all of Russell’s books grabs your attention and keeps it. Paul Russell is one of my favorite authors, in addition to Boys of Life other great reads of his include The Salt Point, Sea of Tranquility, War Against the Animals and The Coming Storm.
Paul Russell quotes:
“Just because you pretend the universe doesn’t have teeth doesn’t mean you won’t get eaten in the end”
“I’ll put it to you simply: love is the enemy. That’s my conclusion. We should all live in our little monk cells and never venture out”
“Waiting, he thought, was the most miserable condition a man could find himself in. His whole life, he had been waiting for one thing or another”
“He wanted to toast mad idealism, forbidden desires, the dreams that drove one to criminal acts. He wanted, quite starkly, oblivion”
“When he got a story urge, there was nothing to do but grab a pen and write. Otherwise it was too much like getting a hard-on and not jerking off”