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A Masque of Infamy

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A Masque of Infamy is a ribald story of teenage rebellion, punk rock and survival. After moving from Los Angeles to small town Alabama in 1987, Louis Baudrey tries to fit in at the local high school, but the Bible-thumpers and the rednecks don't take too kindly to his outlandish wardrobe and punk attitude. At home, he defies the sadistic intentions of Rick, his father's fr ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Phony Lid Books (first published March 6th 2013)
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A Masque of Infamy by Kelly DessaintHairstyles of the Damned by Joe MenoZero by Tom LeveenNick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel CohnBurn Collector by Al Burian
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Michael Cuthbertson
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Masque of Infamy is not your ordinary coming-of-age story, and yet it is definitely a classic of that particular genre. Dessaint's writing style is refreshing in numerous ways. Uniquely, his characters' language is natural and colloquial and yet, somehow, Dessaint's dialogue always seems to be more engrossing than the commonplace conversations we usually hear each day in our own lives. Dessaint is an expert at sifting through the everyday conversations of teenagers and finding the magic and pr ...more
Sage Adderley-Knox
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Louis Baudrey is a teen from California that makes a move cross-country to Alabama with his family, which consists of his younger brother, father, and Rick. From the beginning, I wanted to know exactly who Rick was and what role he played in the household. Soon enough, readers find out about what a creep Rick is and the abuse the boys have been dealing with. In their new small town, Louis rebels by being the misfit. He is punk and proud roaming the halls of high school and annoying those that fe ...more
Htiek Murdnal
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A Masque of Infamy is as beautiful as it is shocking. Kelly Dessaint masterfully guides us through the horror of teen-hood with remarkable insight and clarity. This is one beast of book, ladies and gentlemen. This needs to be on your bookshelf!
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Masque of Infamy is an autobiographical novel, a coming of age story out of the horrors of child abuse. The dialogue is raw and rough, the characters are very real.

Kelly Dessaint has crafted his story so the reader keenly feels Louis and Joey's confusion, frustration, fear, and anger as they experience it. I was trying to figure out what the system was doing as the boys were being processed and moved around. And the real story, the one Louis doesn't allow himself to tell for so long, is slowly
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
First of all, let me just say this is an amazing book if it were a piece of fiction, but knowing that it's an autobiographical novel, makes it that much more awesome! The book is a bout a young boy who moves to the south. Kelly's life is anything but boring, the coming of age story will have you hooked by page one. The dialogue between characters seems casual and out of the ordinary to most. I could hear the voices and imagine them all so clearly in my mind, I felt I knew them myself.

Louis seem
Maya Archer-doyle
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Gritty, funny, painful, poignant. I enjoyed this trip back in time and recognized those teenage years full confusion and excitement, boredom and curiosity and the search for people from the same tribe, so to speak.
Plus, I like the author--he's a lovely, friendly, funny, human being.
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
A Masque of Infamy by Kelly Dessaint


At the age of fifteen Louis moves from LA to Alabama with his dad, younger brother, and a friend of the family named Rick. Louis, with his punk/new-age-rocker style and his patchwork family sticks out like a sore thumb in his new deeply religious community. At home he fights a battle with Rick, who tries to wield a high level of control and authority over him and his brother. When he stumbles upon a set of photographs not meant for his
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"A Masque of Infamy" follows young teenager, fifteen-year old Louis Baudrey, a young misfit who is a small voice trying to get noticed for his individuality. He listens to metal and punk music, makes homemade anarchy shirts, pierces his ears, and hangs out with other like-minded kids. In the beginning Louis and his young, eleven-year old brother, Joey, are shown being taken to a temporary home. It isn't made entirely clear why they are there, just that something about their home life is unsafe. ...more
Tim Lowe
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
When I was asked to participate in the book tour for this novel, my inclination was to politely decline. I explained to the delightful lady who asked for my participation that I primarily read nonfiction and didn't normally make time for fiction.

The few times I do dip my foot into the fiction pool is when the plot is unique or in some way appealing to me by piquing my curiosity. I re-read the synopsis of A Masque of Infamy and, for whatever reason, the curiosity factor kicked in.

Based to some de
Ryan Mishap
Aug 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Knowing a fictional narrative is partially based on the author's real life can hinder a review. Too often--and this is almost the case here--the fictionalized account can read like reportage: this happened and then this and then this. This tendency can override any of the qualities we associate with novels as an art form. The narrative can get too straightforward, not expand on characters, and not provide relevant subplots or similar devices. In cases like that, I wish they would have just writt ...more
Bradley Knox
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I had the opportunity to meet Kelly some months back in a central SoCal locale that we were both well acquainted with. We shot the shit about ‘back in the old days’ and other dusty punk rock lamentations. It’s what old punks do. All the while I was unaware that he had written this stark, bleak, brilliant and funny novel loosely (or maybe tightly) based on his distressed upbringing. I just finished this powerhouse of a book, and want to shamelessly plug it while its still fresh in my damaged brai ...more
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great coming of age book, that on the surface may appear to be just another troubled teenager book, but as it develops you come across the reasons why young Louis is the way he is, which leads to an understanding of where he is coming from, and why he is the way he is.

The plot moves along at a nice pace, with needed jumps back and forth not just to explain what is happening but in line with how and when Louis deals with and confronts his past.

The tale is all told from Louis' point of v
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I haven't reviewed many autobiographical works, so I was very interested in starting with A Masque of Infamy! The story is about Louis, a young boy who moves cross country to Alabama. From there, we are given an inside look to what becomes Louis's coming-of-age story. From bouts with abuse to living the punk rock life - it's all about this young boy becoming someone, despite his circumstances.

The humor in this book can make one forget that it is, after all, based on a true story. Regardless, th
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1st-read
I got A Masque of Infamy by Kelly Dessaint as part of first read program.

A Masque of Infamy is a coming of age story of fifteen year old Louis Baudrey a transplant for LA to a small town Alabama. I love this book. The characters are well develop, the language is straight if some what graphic but expected from a fifteen year old or someone experiencing life such of Louis and his brother Joey. I love that Dessaint dealt with the issue of sexual abuse honestly. I find myself laughing
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect, really. Difficulties, sure. Challenges. Rebellion. But never did it occur to me that it would be so heartbreaking. The story breaks my heart. It's amazing that children can feel protective or defensive of the worst parents. But I know it happens. I admire Dessaint immensely. He triumphs. ...more
Patricia Kaniasty
May 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked it but what happened to the ending? It just.........stopped. Made no sense. Left too many unanswered questions. The story did have many good points..........was funny, sick, sad, and frustrating. Those are just a few. Would have been a 3 star but the ending.......or lack of one, brought it down to a 2. Oh well.
Frau Sorge (Yuki)
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can't read books dealing with.. Let's say - I can't read books like that.
A Masque of Infamy left me literary gasping for air.
I'd kill every single one character. With pleasure.

You really want to join me.

Tiffany starling
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Easy to ready and funny at times. Told a great story, just wanted to know more at the end.
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Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very good. The plot was confusing at times, but it was well written and focused on a things I enjoy, mainly punk rock and skateboarding. This book has its funny moments as well as very serious ones. There are some moments in this book that concern sexual abuse so that might be a warning for some people.
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Kelly Dessaint was born and raised in Los Angeles. A veteran of the small press, he currently lives in Oakland and publishes the zine Piltdownlad.

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