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Dream Boy

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  3,473 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
ALA Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Book Award.

DREAM BOY confirms the immense promise of Jim Grimsley's award-winning debut, WINTER BIRDS. In his electrifying novel, adolescent gay love, violence, and the spirituality of old-time religion are combined through the alchemy of Grimsley's vision into a powerfully suspenseful story of escape and redemption.

"I've never read a novel remot

...more
Paperback, 195 pages
Published January 30th 1997 by Touchstone (first published 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sofia
Dec 05, 2014 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Powerful silent imagery.....


Grimsley uses the third person present to tell us this story. So even though we are getting Nathan's point of view, a distance is still created between us and him and him and his world. This distance mirrors the same distance that Nathan needs to be able to survive what he has been through. So with this writing tool Grimsley puts us in the picture by making us feel the distance, the silence, the invisibility, the loneliness, the wariness. The distrust Nathan feels
...more
Thomas
Jun 29, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: Roof Beam Reader
Some books don't deserve ratings. Not because they're just that bad, but because a number cannot encapsulate everything found within their bindings. Dream Boy, for me, is one of those books - what I liked about it is also what prevented me from loving it fully.

First published over ten years ago at a succinct 195 pages, Dream Boy revolves around Nathan, a sophomore in high school who falls into a complex relationship with Roy, a senior. Nathan comes from a troubled home. His alcoholic father exem
...more
Lena♥Ribka
Such a beautiful, deeply emotional, poignant and touching piece of prose!.. Jim Grimsley's writing. is magical.

No more words, let the book talk to you.


*** Smith nailed it.
Trisha Harrington
Such a brilliant gay fiction book.


This was my first gay romance book or gay fiction book, whichever you prefer to call it. I fell in love with it the second I started reading it. It didn't take me very long to read it, because I couldn't put it down, but partly because it was very short, too. It was a very quick read. And I also read it on my 15th birthday, which isn't really relevant... but anyway.

Jim Grimsley did an amazing job with Nathan. He was a shy boy, but he had something inside. It w
...more
Vmcla
Feb 16, 2010 Vmcla rated it did not like it
Dream Boy is a good beginnng for a novel. It's a decent outline. But aside from an intriguing writing style, this book fails if only because there is no ending.

Actually, I felt extremely cheated and angry that the author would do such a thing. First he manipulates us ruthlessly and plays on our emotions and for what? To give us a book with no ending? Either suggested ending is an unbelieveably trite.

The author should be ashamed of himself. Worn out plot, brutal enough to make reading difficul
...more
Ije the Devourer of Books
Many thanks to Sofia for buddy reading this with me. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to read it on my own.

This is a melancholy story, poignant, beautifully written but very disturbing. Even the teen gay romance within its pages could not redeem it from the darkness and the violence within it. Everything shimmered with the fragility of first love but shattered into pieces with the violence.

And then the open endedness of the story did not allow for resolution and peace. Although I suppose we can
...more
Irissska
Jan 20, 2013 Irissska rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who is ok with no "Happily Ever After "
Shelves: lgbt
I am still under impression of this book. Since the moment I read the last page I have thought about it all the time. You will find a lot of reviews on this book here, both negative and positive. And I agree with both. As for me, I liked this book. Really liked. And you shouldn't believe reviewers that the book is worth of reading or it isn't. Just read it yourself and decide.

(view spoiler)
...more
Nancy
Sep 01, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it
Wow, I don't know what to make of this. I heard about it on NPR; the commentator, a gay man, said he wished he had had this book when he was a teenager, because it would have told him he was not alone. That seemed a good reason to read it.

Dream Boy follows Nathan, a bright, delicate 15-year-old-boy, as he falls into a dreamlike courtship with Roy, an older, popular boy at Nathan's new school. Though the sex never feels prurient, the novel is unrelentingly sexual. I started to wonder if there was
...more
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Bonnie by: Heard Interview on NPR
Dream Boy is a tender love story that is also sensual and violent. It is the story of two high school boys who fall in love. Roy and Nathan are neighbors and the attraction is immediate and profound. They are secretive and tentative about their relationship but it is intense and astonishing in its power.

Roy and Nathan attend the same high school where Roy is a senior and Nathan is a sophomore. Nathan has just moved to the area. His family moves often because his father can't keep a job and drink
...more
Apeiron
May 29, 2015 Apeiron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dream Boy is haunting, in a "I have to re-read it or else it'll drive me crazy" way. But I'm pretty sure that rereading will not give me answers.

It's also haunting because of the subject matter, the constant foreboding feeling and scenes that always stay on this side of gratifying and keep you pushing through the story.


/I'm not even sure if I liked it. The ending flipped my rating upside down. Because I suck at understanding surrealism and symbolism. I have so many ideas on this ending, but if I
...more
Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn }
Jan 11, 2015 Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn } rated it really liked it
Shelves: le-ships
This book was NOT okay.

I repeat. NOT OKAY.

Leave now because it has a number of Spoilers.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

First, I just want you to know I am a supporter of LGBT rights, and a proud shipper. LOl. I find everything about my ships and things I am fond appealing and beautiful.

But this book ruined me, left me with mixed feelings, and a trauma of porn.

Okay, let's start with the exposition, and the writing style was totally off.
The writing style was like a compilation of RP messages. Se
...more
Iloveshakespeare
May 20, 2010 Iloveshakespeare rated it it was amazing
Just finished it and am trying to determine what I think. As an atheist bordering the agnostic I am not one for Bible-reading and hymn-singing and so forth. So I cannot read the ending in a religious context. But what remains then? If I say it is about love between Nathan and Roy, then I get the ending (even though it can be seen as over the top, too faitytale-ish or whatever). I get it nonetheless.

I am highly disturbed by the whole plot because the writing gets to you. It seems to be clinical,
...more
Clare
Aug 30, 2010 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Irina
Dec 02, 2014 Irina rated it really liked it
It was a page turner!

Creepy and sad once I have realised what is going on, growing resentful towards the 'mother' and murderous towards the father, but even though the feeling of doom was inevitable, I kept on hoping. And maybe, because I wanted a HEA for these two boys so much, I completely refused to believe in a bad ending. To me, a horrible part of it was a dream and when he woke up, Nathan has found his happiness.

Brilliant writing!

Once again, thank you, Sofia, for holding my hand and goi
...more
Ami
Apr 26, 2008 Ami rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction
It is one of the most achingly beautiful book I have ever read in awhile. It is a story of two high school boys who discover love for one another in the rural South. Mr. Grimsley writes with soul of a poet that when he describes the attraction between the two boys, it is so palpable, I can feel it seeps through the pages and fill the empty space around me. Then it moves into this haunting scenes, slowly reaches the tense climax. The ending is poignant yet triumphant. I feel like I have been livi ...more
Gloria
Sep 20, 2007 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who aren't homophobic.
This is my favourite book. I can relate to almost every aspect of the story. Jim Grimsley is a genius.
Andrew
Jun 12, 2012 Andrew rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished

This is the first time in a long time that I've had to actually stop a book before I've finished, so I'm not even sure why I'm putting this review up here, but mostly to clear up some things that I feel are important. I tried very hard to just keep charging through the book until it was done, but this book was just that bad. I don't understand how this won an award at all.


First of all, everything about this novel is repetitive and boring. After the first time they meet, Nathan and Roy basically

...more
Bárbara
Sep 07, 2016 Bárbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is something that renders me in awe, sometimes: there will be, occasionally, a book I will stumble upon, that will hit me with such strength that will threaten to shake everything that makes me.

This book is one of those cases.

I didn't really expect it to affect me so much; I guess I never imagined it would matter that much, it was supposed to be just another book I had been meaning to read for some time and only now I was getting myself to do it.


I wish I had the words to explain in ful
...more
Blake Fraina
Feb 21, 2010 Blake Fraina rated it it was amazing
For me, along with Marilyne Robinson's Housekeeping, this book is the most beautifully written, heartfelt I have ever read. My reaction was so similar to other reviewers who posted here, I don't know if I have anything new to add. However, I feel so strongly about this book that I am compelled to contribute my opinion anyway. I, too, read Dream Boy in one sitting and, upon finishing, felt bereft, devastated for days afterward. The book's power derives not merely from the fairly simple, straightf ...more
Ariel Uppstrom
Jul 21, 2010 Ariel Uppstrom rated it it was ok
This was assigned as one of my Gay Book Club books. It was interesting to read an older LGBT novel, but it lacked some pizazz that I think I'm accustom to in current LGBT lit. I enjoyed the main character, but the boy he was in love with seemed so moody and artificial that I got fed up with him right away and felt that the main character should just move on. However, young love and new love is always hard to be rational with in, so I can understand his attachment.

I found the abuse the main chara
...more
Alex
Aug 28, 2010 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, queer
Stars: 2.5/5

Overall:
While this is a beautifully written story with several positive points, the ending really sours the entire story for me.

What I liked
Writing. The style is unique and moving, feeling abstract and distant in many cases, which works to illustrate how the main character has become closed off (although the writing style doesn't change as he opens up.

Abuse. The main character's relationship with his father is handled well. The fear is palpable without showing any actual abuse being
...more
Mel Bossa
Aug 30, 2011 Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 0006-lgbtq
This was my third or fourth read of this magnificent book by Jim Grimsley. This is the book I return to when I want to be inspired to write better.

This was my first reaction to Dream boy, in 2010, when I first read it:

Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley. I read it in an hour and a half. The apartment could have been engulfed in fire. I couldn't care less. I only wanted his words. Only needed to turn the pages.

It has been a very very long and lonely time since I've come across such a kindred soul. His wri
...more
Edina Rose
Two teenage boys fall in love in old rural conservative America (well, "old"..., not sure it's much different now from what I hear).
The "falling in love" part is very well done: the little looks, the shortness of breath, the redness of cheeks and neck and the first touches. There are sex scenes, but they are not gratuitous and not very explicit anyway. There is a rape scene though that made me want to throw up, so be warned.

The climax felt rushed to me but the beauty of the prose makes up for t
...more
Chad
May 21, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it
This book sucked me in. I'm not sure whether it was the writing style, the characters, or the setting, but something about it made it impossible to put down. The overwhelming sense of dread that filled me as I got deeper into the story had me hooked. Everything is told so vaguely, yet with such detail; it's quite hard to explain. It is not a novel I will soon forget, and I may have to re-read the last few chapters due to the dazed state I was put in after the climax. This novel, literally, left ...more
Sarah B.
Apr 21, 2011 Sarah B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brian
Sep 19, 2010 Brian rated it it was ok
When i first read this, I was in college and it was one of my first gay-themed books. As a closeted teen myself, it was easy to relate to the difficulties of growing up in a small-ass town, having to hide who you were.

I remember feeling how great it would feel to be able to just run away and leave it all behind.

But now... 10 years later... I watched the movie. And I gotta say... I sure hope authors are writing uplifting stories about gay youth these days. Like where the main character breaks ou
...more
☕Laura
Jan 16, 2015 ☕Laura rated it really liked it
I find Jim Grimsley's writing to be just beautiful and his ability to create sustained tension in the reader is masterful. As always, this book was uncomfortable and disturbing yet I could not put it down. Grimsley has a way of doing that to me. I didn't love this as much as I loved Winter Birds and My Drowning, and was left with some unanswered questions, but it still deserves four stars.
Jer Fairall
Mar 09, 2017 Jer Fairall rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shwe Einthe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jim Grimsley is a playwright and novelist. Jim's first novel, Winter Birds, was published by Algonquin Books in 1994. The novel won the 1995 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation. Jim's second novel, Dream Boy, won the American Library Association GLBT Award for Literature (the Stonewa ...more
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“Nathan’s mother is thinking about the body of Christ and the wings of angels. Her spirit lightens in the safety, the sanctity, of the church. Dark hair surrounds her pretty oval face. Light from the stained-glass window tints her skin. Nathan thinks about the body of the son of the farmer who owns the house Nathan’s parents rented three weeks ago.” 1 likes
“Algebra is simple.” 0 likes
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