KINDLE ❃ A Boys Own Story Author Edmund White – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk

KINDLE ❃ A Boys Own Story  Author Edmund White – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 218 pages
  • A Boys Own Story
  • Edmund White
  • English
  • 13 August 2019
  • 0375707409

A Boys Own Story Originally Published In As The First Of Edmund White S Trilogy Of Autobiographical Novels, A Boy S Own Story Became An Instant Classic For Its Pioneering Portrayal Of Homosexuality The Book S Unnamed Narrator, Growing Up During The S, Is Beset By Aloof Parents, A Cruel Sister, And Relentless Mocking From His Peers, Compelling Him To Seek Out Works Of Art And Literature As Solace And To Uncover New Relationships In The Struggle To Embrace His Own Sexuality Lyrical And Poignant, With Powerful Evocations Of Shame And Yearning, This Is An American Literary Treasure


About the Author: Edmund White

Edmund White s novels include Fanny A Fiction, A Boy s Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and A Married Man He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, The Fl neur A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, and, most recently, his memoir, My Lives Having lived in Paris for many years, he is now a New Yorker and teaches at Princeton University He was also a membe Edmund White s novels include Fanny A Fiction, A Boy s Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and A Married Man He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, The Fl neur A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, and, most recently, his memoir, My Lives Having lived in Paris for many years, he is now a New Yorker and teaches at Princeton University He was also a member of The Violet Quill, a gay writer s group that met briefly from 1980 81


10 thoughts on “A Boys Own Story

  1. says:

    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 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 bepredator 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 all that, plus i ve never read asinister depiction of a blowjob in my life

  2. says:

    Elegant prose describing here a unique experience that hardly resembles my own The paramount reason I adore fiction In this, the truth of the matter That there are all types, there are many stories Sexuality is fixed only in our minds This is no mix between Salinger and Wilde White is an American Alan Hollinghurst, or a bourgeois William Burroughs.

  3. says:

    This is a hard book to rate, but I would give it a 3.5.It s said to be partly autobiographical and it does read like a memoir However, the story is not linear and at times the timeline is confusing Progressions of events are broken up by anecdotes that are sometimes told through narrative but are other times written out scene by scene The digressions are sometimes interesting but often felt unnecessary or disconnected from the main character s adolescent journey.Despite those criticisms, the This is a hard book to rate, but I would give it a 3.5.It s said to be partly autobiographical and it does read like a memoir However, the story is not linear and at times the timeline is confusing Progressions of events are broken up by anecdotes that are sometimes told through narrative but are other times written out scene by scene The digressions are sometimes interesting but often felt unnecessary or disconnected from the main character s adolescent journey.Despite those criticisms, the book is very readable At times it reminded me of Call Me by Your Name, but only in the sense that the narrator is a teenage boy who comes from a privileged background and feels isolated from his peers and at times his family But unlike the Italian backdrop of that novel, the narrator in A Boy s Own Story is a wealthy WASPish fellow with a stern Republican father, a flighty mother, and the setting is the 1950s Midwest There s a fair amount of racism in the novel and even though the mindset is accurate for the time period, that didn t make it any less cringe worthy There is also a lot of unrecognized white privilege in this book that makes the narrator a little insufferable He s a poor little rich boy who can get away with minor transgressions and risky behavior because he knows in the end he will be all right , but his internalized self hate and homophobia is so intense that I could still feel sympathy.Despite the negatives, there were still some things I could relate to The distant and only semi interested parents The type of parents who remind me of my own because their behavior begs the question Why did you ever have a kid in the first place But also, the adolescent feeling of feeling like you have to be something else to prove you re anything but what you really are I played sports and paraded enough girls around my parents for them to not ask too many questions The narrator tried to attach himself to the popular crowd, to become one of the guys, to immerse himself in the boyhood of a boarding school before ultimately giving up Like me, the narrator became unapologetic about his sexuality after a time But unlike me, there was still an internalized sense of alien wrongness.Apparently this is the first part in a trilogy, and I will be reading the others.Quotes that I connected with On escape This house where I d never felt I belonged no longer belonged to me, and the future so clearly charted for me college, career, wife, and white house wavering behind green trees was being exchanged On unwanted children My grandmother had not wanted my father, as she told him, she d pummeled her stomach with her fists every day while she was bearing him Nonetheless, my father somehow got born and survived On divorce The real excitement, of course, lay in learning that a life could be changed and that one could enter a brand new, better world On his mother Then something nice would happen Someone would compliment her or a ma would take an interest in her and presto, she was not only equal to other people but superior to them On his father Much later my stepmother told me I d caused my father weeks of sleepless despair and that at first he had chosen to believe I wasn t really a homosexual at all, merely a poseur hoping to appear interesting On cynicism and self hate We were losers who talked a winning game No wonder honesty came to mean for my sister saying only the most damaging things against herself If she began by admitting defeat, then something was possible sincerity, perhaps, or at least the avoidance of appearing ludicrous On ingrained homophobia I wanted to overcome this thing I was becoming and was in danger soon of being, the homosexual, as though that designation were the mold in which the water was freezing, the first crystals already forming a fragile membrane On being an alien Nothing I did or said among the other boys came to me naturally As a result, in every encounter, even the most glancing, I had to be a performer, for at all times I was aware I was impersonating a human being On marriage Marriage becameandimpossible, a transubstantiation as eerie and irreversible as death Perhaps by framing this ideal and funereal homosexual marriage in a prospect of poisonous flowers, I was making itandremote

  4. says:

    Achingly beautifuland that s before the corn holing even begins White levels some serious stingers at you in this sucker, written with his customary flair for Proustian filigree While evidence that a truly fucked up childhood can engender great Art, the beneficiary me you etc thereof is behooved to ask Q Does that justify it A No It can never be worth the manifold tortures adults foist upon their young physical, psychological, or any variation of both I think cummings is applicable Achingly beautifuland that s before the corn holing even begins White levels some serious stingers at you in this sucker, written with his customary flair for Proustian filigree While evidence that a truly fucked up childhood can engender great Art, the beneficiary me you etc thereof is behooved to ask Q Does that justify it A No It can never be worth the manifold tortures adults foist upon their young physical, psychological, or any variation of both I think cummings is applicable hereyou shall above all things be glad and young you shall above all things be glad and young.For if you re young,whatever life you wearit will become you and if you are gladwhatever s living will yourself become.Girlboys may nothingthan boygirls need i can entirely her only lovewhose any mystery makes every man sflesh put space on and his mind take off timethat you should ever think,may god forbidand in his mercy your true lover spare for that way knowledge lies,the foetal gravecalled progress,and negation s dead undoom.I d rather learn from one bird how to singthan teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.

  5. says:

    Judging by this book, the average young boy can, before the age of 15, look forward to being approached for sex by A 12 year old straight baby jock who s really into anal Not one, but two separate camp counselors A special student who wanders around with a constant erection, which everyone just accepts, like, Oh hey, it s whatshisname with his perma boner A teacher and his wife looking for a three way A totally different teacher A female black prostitute A guy in a park who s actually jus Judging by this book, the average young boy can, before the age of 15, look forward to being approached for sex by A 12 year old straight baby jock who s really into anal Not one, but two separate camp counselors A special student who wanders around with a constant erection, which everyone just accepts, like, Oh hey, it s whatshisname with his perma boner A teacher and his wife looking for a three way A totally different teacher A female black prostitute A guy in a park who s actually just trying to con you out of 200I think I m forgetting someone, but hey, you can always fill your downtime with sexual fantasies about your own father Look, I get that my experience does not in any way equal the universal experience, least of all that of a young gay man from half a century ago Still, the sexual content of this book is so over the top that I started to feel like, instead of one of the Classics of Gay Literature, I had accidentally acquired an A B O fic in book form A Boy s Own Story is supposed to be an autobiographical novel, but it has very little narrative mostly it s a series of incidents, loosely tied together The novel s notes reveal that several of the chapters were originally written and published separately, and it shows This format only serves to make the narrator s adventures seemcrazed and unlikely you reach a point in almost every chapter where you start to distantly hear the bow chicka bow wow music playing Dear Playgirl, all I did was order a pizza, but you ll never believe what happened All that said White can be a beautiful and descriptive writer I read this because I loved The Flaneur A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris, a work of nonfiction about wandering around Paris and the history of several marginalized groups there There are flashes of what made me respond to that book in A Boy s Own Story descriptions of the hotel the narrator lives in with his mother and sister, of summer at his father s lake house, of a woman who runs a bookstore These passages are filled with brilliant, vivid observation I will definitely be seeking outof White s nonfiction work.But I eyerolled throughout all of this novel s sexual shenanigans I must be getting old Elderly and cantankerous as I am, I have one last bone to pick, although not with White Staring out at me from the front of my edition was this blurb from the Chicago Sun Times The best American narrative of sexual awakening since The Catcher in the Rye Um Did you read The Catcher in the Rye, anonymous Chicago Sun Times critic from 1982 Or did you just catch the A B O AU on AO3 Just checkingIf you don t know what this is, bask in your innocence

  6. says:

    There s a kind of bittersweet loneliness excitement at sexual awakening that most gays will intrinsically understand and that White always manages to caputure so perfectly Somehow, he romances the unromantic, charming us with images of cruising in parks and getting STD s.

  7. says:

    This groundbreaking novel about a gay teenage boy coming of age in the 1950s is full of nostalgia and the yearning to be comfortable with oneself The narrator recalls snippets of his formative years in which he struggles with his sexuality and the sense of shame that accompanies his then forbidden desires The writing is elegant and the story is an important one to tell, though I found certain sections to be faraffecting and compelling than others This was an uneven read for me, though I This groundbreaking novel about a gay teenage boy coming of age in the 1950s is full of nostalgia and the yearning to be comfortable with oneself The narrator recalls snippets of his formative years in which he struggles with his sexuality and the sense of shame that accompanies his then forbidden desires The writing is elegant and the story is an important one to tell, though I found certain sections to be faraffecting and compelling than others This was an uneven read for me, though I m glad I read it

  8. says:

    A book about a gay boy in the US during the 50 s This coming of age story is peppered with lyrical prose and said to be an instant hit when it was first published in 1982 Considering that the setting of the story is in the heartland of the conservative US and it was in the 50 s before the rock n roll era , the difficulties that the author of this semi autobiographical novel went through to fight for his desire to be loved by men including his father are something worth knowing As the blurb A book about a gay boy in the US during the 50 s This coming of age story is peppered with lyrical prose and said to be an instant hit when it was first published in 1982 Considering that the setting of the story is in the heartland of the conservative US and it was in the 50 s before the rock n roll era , the difficulties that the author of this semi autobiographical novel went through to fight for his desire to be loved by men including his father are something worth knowing As the blurb says,It s any boy s story For all I know, it may be any girl s story as well There is just one shocking scene that could turn you off in the first few pages of the book a sodomy between the 16 y o narrator and a 12 y o boy who is spending a few days vacation in their ranch However, this kind of sex scene becomes infrequent towards the end as the story focuses on the emotional aspect of being gay particularly in his struggle to be accepted and happy The last few pages of the book also reveals that the seemingly normal people also had their hidden unpleasant sides In the end, you would have the feeling that gay men are just like another other human beings and should not be mocked, treated and seen differently

  9. says:

    A Boy s Own Story is about a young boy s coming of age and his coming out in the 1950s It is told in a very sensitive voice and the language used is very beautiful At the beginning of the book there is a very explicit sex scene I was quite surprised at that because I had never expected that I ve read a lot of books by John Irving who especially in his later work uses a lot of sex scenes as well but never anything like that.I always enjoy reading coming of age stories including the ones set a A Boy s Own Story is about a young boy s coming of age and his coming out in the 1950s It is told in a very sensitive voice and the language used is very beautiful At the beginning of the book there is a very explicit sex scene I was quite surprised at that because I had never expected that I ve read a lot of books by John Irving who especially in his later work uses a lot of sex scenes as well but never anything like that.I always enjoy reading coming of age stories including the ones set at boarding schools and this book was no exception I often disliked the main character particulary at the end but the book was still great and I m looking forward to reading the next volume in this trilogy I received a free digital copy via Netgalley the publisher Thanks for the opportunity

  10. says:

    I read this for my lifetime challenge 1982 I picked A Boy s Own Story because it s also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list Unfortunately, it s another one from the list I didn t particularly enjoy It is not a long book, but it felt long and was a chore to get through it.The book is the memoir of a boy coming to terms or not with being gay While that topic interested me, and I had no issues with the sexual content in the book, the actual writing didn t hold my interes I read this for my lifetime challenge 1982 I picked A Boy s Own Story because it s also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list Unfortunately, it s another one from the list I didn t particularly enjoy It is not a long book, but it felt long and was a chore to get through it.The book is the memoir of a boy coming to terms or not with being gay While that topic interested me, and I had no issues with the sexual content in the book, the actual writing didn t hold my interest There is no narrative thread in the book It reads like a memoir, skipping from incident to incident I enjoyed that in Tove Jansson s The Summer Book , but in that book the writing was sparse and elegant and had a subtle poignant wry humor A Boy s Own Story is very over written with elaborate prose and dense metaphors all the time And though I found myself highlighting in many places where a sentence struck me as being very beautiful and rather profound, the overall effect page after page was to obscure and weight down the story It was hard to stay focused It was like listening to a professor who rambles on and on I also found I didn t like the main character There was a lot of pretentiousness, talking about Proust and Sartre and a general air of I m so much smarter than everyone else When it really came across as very White and fusty dated now And then in the end the boy does something which is reprehensible view spoiler He seduces a teacher and then reports him for marijuana possession He does this with every forethought and intention of ruining the man And why The man never did anything to him But it was part of the boy s self hatred for being gay He wanted to have sex with and then betray a man , as if by doing so he could show that he really wasn t homosexual, because he didn t love the man or he wouldn t have been able to betray him Okay hide spoiler I understand how this act was thematically about self loathing and not being able to accept his homosexuality, but it nevertheless made me dislike him intensely So self centered So I can t really recommend this book, and at this point I m not feeling the 1001 Books list either However, if you like very dense, poetic prose, and a picture of what it was like to grow up gay when it was really quite a terrible thing to be, you may find this book worth your time Below is one particularly evocative passage No sooner would such a temptation present itself than I would smother it The effect was of snuffing out a candle, two candles, a row of twenty, until the lens pulled back to reveal an entire votive stand exhaling a hundred thin lives of smoke as a terraced offering before the shrine In this religion hidden lights had been declared superior to those that glared.

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