Khenpo Gurudas's Reviews > A Boy's Own Story

A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White
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Feb 25, 12

bookshelves: autobiographical-novels, lgbt-literature
Read in January, 1983

I found this autobiographical novel interesting, having read it as a very young man myself, in 1982. White's somewhat lyrical and evocative narrative has been considered one of the great pieces of LGBT literature. And I will agree that it was a captivating novel.

I am uncertain of the whole "great LGBT literature" concept itself, because many of those books that get categorised with White's work are not, in my opinion, of the same calibre or literary style of this book. White writes in the style of the great J.D. Salenger, and John Rechy, but in a more casual, almost "lived-in" style of writing that might draw sharp criticism from those looking for a "well-developed plot".

His writing is part of an edgy genre of books that accurately reflects the time and lives of those who spent the 1950's in the repressed world of Ozzie and Harriett, and then discovered the Summer of Love in the 60's, and who made up for lost time (sexually) in the 70s, only to be decimated by the loss, marginalisation and terror of the Plague in the early and mid-1980s.

It's an unapolgetic look at one man's life, and having met Ed once or twice, it reads like the man speaks... and for me, in both cases, that's captivating.
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