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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  12 reviews
PINS tells the story of bigotry in athletics, and one very short boy who stands up to it.

Set in Little Falls, New Jersey in 1993, PINS weaves the classic story of a Catholic saint into a compelling modern life -and near-death- account of Joey Nicci, a fifteen-year-old Italian-American wrestler.

After befriending Donald "Dink" Kohrs, Joey and his new posse get involved i

Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Myrmidude Press
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  106 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Mike Adams
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The boy's buzz cut swirled out like a tiny universe whose only limits were two stubby ears."

With that evocative first sentence, PINS takes us into the teenage life of a young New Jersey boy, the pressures and privileges of being a jock, and a gritty almost palpable immersion into the cult of wrestling.

While outwardly another "coming of age" story, PINS not only tells of homophobia, violence, repressed lust and complex family interactions. It also describes the sport of wrestling with an accurac
John Crowe-Lockerman
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started this novel just hours before Hurricane Michael hit. I got so involved in it that for two days without power, I read by flashlight. This novel completely engrossed me! It brought back a lot of memories! What the characters in this novel go through reminded me so much of what I went through when I was their age. I could so sympathise with all of their struggles. It was exciting to be front, center, and involved in the whole entire Scholastic Wrestling genre. I say "genre" because until I ...more
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this novel for a couple of reasons: The author was an acquaintance of mine when living in San Francisco back in the 90's. He was writing this book at the time. As an avid wrestler in high school and college, I was interested in reading Mr. Provenzano's take on the wrestling life and how it was juxtaposed against coming to terms with one's sexuality. Mr. Provenzano was also a wrestler, so I enjoyed talking with him about our similar experiences.

"PINS" was a great read for me. The characte
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very decent book that could have been great but for one - not that minor - flaw.

The plot is good, managing as it does to span numerous genres from coming-of-age, to sports, to coming out, to Americana, to bullying, and many other things that are touched on during the course of the book.

The story itself can be split into three parts, which says something about the pacing. There's the build up to a life changing event during which everything seems to be fine, the actual event itself, an
Micha Meinderts
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this. It was a nice read, it felt really realistic and the atmosphere gave me a content feeling, it that makes any sense. Yet technically it wasn't a good book, with a badly paced storyline, too many errors still left and a subdued, almost emotionless main character, despite his outbursts of aggression and sadness.

It mostly felt like watching a movie through a frosted window or something. But it was a good movie with an important and positive message. A peek into a wo
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-read
One of those good ones; I read this a few years ago when I was going through a phase of having to find great books with young gay characters, that wasn't too light, or too dark. Since it's been awhile, I'll let this blurb suffice:

"A heartfelt and touching story, unwaveringly authentic and compelling. His characters wrestle with each other, vividly, and also with larger issues of sexuality, faith and family." Michael Lowenthal, The Same Embrace

Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
poignant, funny; realistic and endearing characters
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Disturbing but excellent.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
“What starts off as yet another coming-of-age tale of gay youth in suburbia takes a dramatic turn and careens into a full-fledged miracle of writing.” – NY Blade News

“Fully captures the reader ... a descriptive writer of the Ernest Hemingway model; terse, stripped down, and to the point.” – Lambda Book Report

“Provenzano has a swift and flexible style that cuts against sentiment and reveals, in moments of grace, something like true feeling. He’s also funny. He has an ear for teenage banter, and

Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a novel in years. I chose this book because I like the idea of high school MM romances and this was centered around the world of wrestling, something I am unfamiliar with. I found the writing to be hard to follow, the characters themselves somewhat unobtainable, and the story a little boring. The introduction of a tragedy halfway through the book sets the stage for teen angst, unrequited love and parental realization about their golden boy. I couldn't wait for it all to end. Back ...more
Shane Pennell
Dec 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A one-of-its-kind novel, I believe, and I must say, any other books that try to follow will have a hard time besting this one. The narrative is blunt, and it's that honesty that makes the story so compelling. It's also brave, and I personally always appreciate brave authors. Definitely a book worth reading. ...more
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Jim Provenzano is the author of the novels Finding Tulsa, Now I'm Here, PINS, Monkey Suits, Cyclizen, the 2012 Lambda Literary Award-winning Every Time I Think of You, its sequel Message of Love (a Lammy finalist), and the stage adaptation of PINS (a Bay Area Theatre Critics awardee). His short fiction collection Forty Wild Crushes was published in 2016.

A journalist in LGBT media for three decades

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