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Dream Boy

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,259 Ratings  ·  264 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
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 195 pages
Published January 9th 1995 by Algonquin Books (first published 1995)
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Sep 16, 2015 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
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.
Jul 07, 2013 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 16, 2010 Vmcla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 19, 2016 Giedre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first glance, Jim Grimsley's Dream Boy seems to be a short love story set fifty-some-odd years back, but—don't expect a love story drenched in sunshine and happiness. There's nothing wrong with uplifting stories, but Dream Boy is simply not that book.

In fiction, the theme of first love is oftentimes ripe with bittersweetness, yet Grimsley treads way past it into the daunting territory of being gay and falling in love for the first time - with all of its implicit loneliness and second-gu
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
Jan 20, 2013 Irissska rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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)
Sep 01, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 22, 2016 Maiker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Éste ha sido el primer libro que leído de este autor y debo decir que me ha gustado la forma tan ligera y sutil de escribir de Grimsley, me ha dejado absorto. Aunque la historia como tal no tanto. Puede que me lo haya leído en un día y no me haya despegado de el ni una vez; porque igual se termina en una sentada por lo ligero y corto que es. Pero la historia me pareció algo apresurada y en cierta forma un poco inverosímil. No logró convencerme del todo el romance entre Roy y Nathan, pero aún así ...more
Jun 16, 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
Raychylle { Reyna Avelyn }
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
May 20, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Bonnie Brody
Feb 28, 2012 Bonnie Brody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 23, 2014 Clare rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbtq, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 15, 2015 Irina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2008 Ami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2007 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ariel Uppstrom
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
Sep 09, 2010 Alex rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, queer
Stars: 2.5/5

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
Blake Fraina
Sep 10, 2011 Blake Fraina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mel Bossa
Sep 22, 2015 Mel Bossa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 14, 2015 ☕Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
May 27, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 14, 2014 Sarah B. rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2010 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 21, 2015 Kenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the words of some one from therapy - "It's scary how accurate it is." There are really slow moments here, and the story unfolds episodically, and part of it seems a little dated or at least really unbelievable in our current age of hyper supervision and vigilance - the unsupervised children, families in really rural areas (do those still exist?), a young, seemingly underage school bus driver (who was also a student?). Also, I couldn't tell sometimes where the story was really going, and one b ...more
Savannah B
When I was 18, this was among my favorite books. I still love the sparse, grim beauty of its prose and the atmosphere of balmy dread behind a doomed first love. This story satisfied a hormonal interest I had in fetishized gay male relationships: notorious yaoi "uke and seme" dynamics that are essentially heteronormist in nature. One party is the strong and capable "top," the other is the soft and damsel-esque "bottom." This book very much follows that pattern. Roy is handsome and athletic and po ...more
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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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“Algebra is simple.” 0 likes
“Nathan speaks suddenly, with violence, against Roy’s shoulder. “I like you a whole lot. I really do. And I want you to like me the same way.” “I do,” he says.” 0 likes
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