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Shockproof Sydney Skate

3.34  ·  Rating Details ·  82 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Sydney Skate has dubbed himself "Shockproof": He decoded his mother's gossip with her glamorous lesbian girlfriends at age eight (but has never let on to her that he knows she's gay). He easily shrugs off his father's demands to skip college and join him in the exciting world of swimming pool sales for suburbanites. During his summer days, he deftly cares for snakes at the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 17th 2002 by Harper Perennial (first published 1972)
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May 30, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: so-70s
Sexy, druggy 70's YA fiction, I love you.
1972. This is a excellent book about a teenage boy whose mother is a lesbian. She tries to hide it from him, but he knows. And they're interested in the same woman, with hilarious consequences.
Mar 14, 2008 Nancy rated it liked it
This is an early lesbian novel, particularly coming from a major publishing house (Little, Brown, 1972), and, as the subtitle lets you know, is definitely "A Novel of Our (its) Time." Sydney, just graduated, obsessed with sex, has come home to Manhattan from boarding school, where his mother continues to live her fast-paced life running an ad agency and managing the crises amongst her circle of upper-crust lesbians who she talks about in code, with one of each couple given a male name. She someh ...more
Nov 27, 2009 Nozomi rated it liked it
Shelves: sold
I have been in love with the 1970s for the past two months, but it didn't occur to me to read books written and set in that time period until a week ago.

Shockproof is such a confused youth. The book's subject feels like it was the norm back then, and I love it. The many characters and their codenames made it slightly confusing, but luckily, they were all introduced in the front page, so I can remember who's male and who's female.

I also love the slang. I don't know the exact meanings, but only th
Apr 17, 2012 Coleen rated it it was ok
(2.5 stars) Odd title, odd book. Set in the 1970's, it's got the lingo, the clothes, the drugs, & the sex. It's apparently considered lesbian literature, but that's not why it didn't rate higher with me. I thought the characters were very shallow & there weren't really any that I liked. The frequent references & quotes from books were not at all familiar to me & I found them annoying & unnecessary. I wanted to shake Sydney (who is a male, by the way), who wanted so badly to b ...more
Dec 02, 2008 Bill rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pop culture historians
When I read this book - back in the 70's, the salacious nature of the material was truly astounding. In today's "shockproof" amoral (yeah: value judgment) culture, the material is passe. I still remember it as a fun read. It might even be out of print. If the reader can find a copy, it's worth a quick read - if for nothing else, a snapshot of the leading edge of avant garde pop culture in the early 1970's.
I will forever have the post-sex runs scene imprinted on my brain. Somewhat dated (I didn't know that it was originally published in the early-1970s, and the age certainly shows), it feels somewhat like the book doesn't know if it wants to be YA, adult or what, which is actually appropriate for the time period. Despite that, Sydney and his eclectic clan are worth a visit.
Jun 09, 2013 Evan rated it liked it
Bizarre, offbeat, and fairly unique, Shockproof Sydney Skate tells a story that is part Catcher in the Rye, part Perks of Being a wallflower, and partly something else altogether. Somewhat dated, and, at times, somewhat scattered in its approach, but also fairly unforgettable.
Heather Friedman
Jan 05, 2008 Heather Friedman rated it it was amazing
Holden Cofeld of the 70's - amusing
Feb 19, 2007 Joanna rated it really liked it
I read this in 1975 in the Hamptons on the beach. I loved it. It provided role models for me at that time.
Apr 15, 2008 Ellen added it
Shelves: want-to-read
Recommended by Riese.
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