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The Value of X

(Rickey and G-Man #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  673 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Gary and Rickey grew up in the Lower Ninth Ward, products of New Orleans as surely as Community Coffee or the Superdome. Friends since childhood, they become lovers at age 16 and must deal with the realities of being gay in a hardscrabble neighborhood, a traditional Catholic family, and the restaurant kitchens where they've begun to work.
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published February 6th 2008 by Subterranean Press (first published January 1st 2003)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  673 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Sonya Serial Reader
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh My God! Je pense que ça ne m'est jamais arriver jusque là! Terminer le livre puis le relire sans même prendre une pause! Comment vous parler de ce livre! C'est une histoire d'amour, mais pas que...Amour d'adolescence, amour de son meilleur ami, amour interdit par les familles et moqué par la société, amour de cuisine, amour d'une ville, car New Orleans est ici un personnage à part. On peut pas s'empêcher de tomber amoureux de ces deux adolescents et de leur ville. Leur passion commune pour la ...more
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Value of X is a prequel to Liquor, the story of G-man and Rickey as two chefs who decide to open their own restaurant in New Orleans. This novella starts with both men as kids when they meet and bond a lifelong friendship/relationship. The writing is very good and filled with tons of New Orleans flavor. You can’t help but envision the city as it was, down to the last detail. Additionally watching how the two men grow up, change, and deal with individual challenges sets up the tenor and basis ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I re-read this so often, because it's just the right length to sit and read in one sitting. Perhaps it works better for readers already familiar with the two main characters who have been the focus of the more recent work of Poppy Z Brite, as this little book tells the back story of how the two friends became lovers and life-partners. It's one of the most beautifully written same-sex romances telling the story of two young guys falling in love with each other and with cooking as they train to ...more
J.R. Hart
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Despite this book being the first in Rickey and G-man's story, it wasn't actually necessary to read in the grand scheme of the greater story. Unlike Prime or Soul Kitchen, which need Liquor for a good backstory, this is sort of an extra bonus, not plot-essential but deliciously sweet and angsty.

If you love Rickey and G-man, you'll enjoy this taste of them during their teen years. I highly recommend reading it directly before or directly after Prime, because of the characters that come back into
Katia Toutlamour
Roman adorable, merveilleux, enchanteur.

On résume ? on résume. Alors ils s’appellent Gary et Rickey, ils ont 16 ans, ils habitent la Nouvelle-Orléans, ils bossent dans un fast food, ils aiment la cuisine et ils s’aiment. Ben ouais, mais leurs parents ne sont pas trop d’accord et font de la résistance. Enfin, surtout les mères.

Ce que j’en pense ? J’en pense que j’ai adoré. Adoré parce qu’ils sont mignons tout pleins et parce qu’au cours du récit, leur amour ne faiblit pas (je n’en dis pas plus
Devon Newfeld
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
While this is the first book in the Rickey and G-man universe, I was surprised to find that it actually didn't need to be read at all, unless you wanted more of Rickey and G-man. Thankfully, I absolutely did want more of them. Reading this directly before or directly after Prime is a great choice, because there are repeat characters that come back into Rickey's life in that one from this one. I read it right after Prime, and knowing where the story was headed only enhanced this story in new ...more
Aug 22, 2019 marked it as to-read
Maryis book club book
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was my second time reading Poppy, it actually seemed tame after reading "Exquisite Corpse" and I was ready for some crazy stuff, what happened instead was a story about love really, what else can I call it, maybe not your usual and banal love but a love story never the less, one marred with obstacles, unfairness and lots of good food that should make any reader an instant fan of food obsessions of all sorts. I love cooking and I love reading so having two things smashed so well with some ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Very interesting read, nothing quite like I have ever read before and can't wait to read more of. The story is down to earth with problems that real world people really go through, such as coming out of the closet, dealing with others harsh view of your life, and making a relationship work through all of theses, with the added bonus is long distance. Rickey and Gary are very much in love and best friends, this is what makes the story so intriguing. It also makes it hard to put the book down or ...more
Andrew Herold
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've read this many times and will continue to read it many more, probably far into old age. It's one of the only books I've read that actually causes me to have a deep emotional response: It's sweet, sad, melancholic, funny, and most of all real. You come away from this feeling as though you know these characters as old friends on some incredible emotional level--at least I do. I'm always taken by surprise when I read it by how amazing it is, and think about it for days and days after I'm done ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I read this at a point when I was reading anything by PZB that I could get my hands on. I remember liking it quite a bit at the time, and have been wanting to re-read it since then but haven't gotten the chance. I Didn't enjoy this book as much as Brite's horror fiction, but it still had the same gritty edge, and an interesting enough story line. I liked this book a lot more than any of the latter books in this series, as I don't really think the latter books have the same edge that I grew to ...more
This book continues my unintentional but highly enjoyable theme read. For some reason the books I've been compelled to read over the past month have been either set in New Orleans or feature a gay charactor. In the case of "The Value of X" both are true. This particular book has already become a sentimental favorite. It's about Ricky and Gman, two 17-year old boys who both know they are gay but discover their love for each other.
Alannah Davis
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
The first book I've read by this author. The first half was somewhat promising, but the dialogue was an issue for me. I found it largely unrealistic. I felt that it sounded more like dialogue spoken by 7th graders than by 17-year-olds. As the book went on, though, I really got caught up in the characters and their story of being gay teens, as well as the lush New Orleans background and gritty restaurants. So I did end up enjoying it, and may seek out more of Brite's books.
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
Pretty good. In some ways it felt like this is more of a set up for the rest of the books, which to be fair it is.

Also, I think the writer did a good job on writing the parents as the biggest obstacles in the protagonists lives, without them being too villiany. I did understand why they made the choices they did, but it was also so frustrating. Stop fucking with your children's lives!
May 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-interest
I enjoyed this book. It was interesting to read after reading the rest of the series. I did find the author's style a bit dull and predictable. The first book [Liquor] was great, but every book after that was pretty much the same. The plot was lacking, but overall the characters were very likable. That itself is what made the book an enjoyable read.
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very honest and heartfelt, this book is one of the best I've read in a long time. It's a very slice-of-life, gay love story with romantic moments that are anything but mushy. The author's writing style is so easy, almost Hemingway-esque, but contains a heavy punch. Whether it has a happy ending is debatable, but I really loved it.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very romantic story explaining how two of the main Poppy z Brite characters, G-man & Ricky, got together. Some kind of revisit of Romeo & Juliet, but modern, gay and set in New Orleans & NY -and less dramatic-.

You'll like it if you've read Liquor, Prime, etc, and want to know more about them, or simply if you like romance with some tweaks.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It was very different from her early writing, though some hints of her old style peeked through.
But all in all its a fast read and a cute story.
The characters are believable and likable.
Chris March
Apr 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
very trashy and entertaining fantasy about high school sweet harts from a bad New Orleans neighborhood, who may grow up to be chefs. If I someone were to give me crap about my bad taste in books, this would probably be the best example =p
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this novella, and do not know why it is not more widely read as a good example of a teen level gay romance novel.
Kelly Jacqueline
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. By the end of the book, the characters felt like old friends to me.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book that started the series, this was a quick but enjoyable read. I will definitely be reading the third book in the series. Just good all around.
Jul 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2005, gay_fiction
Pretty good. I liked reading about young G-Man and Rickey. I loved Liquor and Prime and really liked The Value of X.
Bcoghill Coghill
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Young gay guys in their hometown of New Orleans and cooking.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Devoured it in 3 hours. Divine.
Apr 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Nice, easy read. A bit too much misunderstanding between the characters for my taste, but still fun to read.
Jan 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
A feel-good coming of age story set in New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward. Do you know the value of X?
Vintage Goth
rated it really liked it
Mar 19, 2015
rated it it was amazing
May 27, 2013
Kathlyn Edwards
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2008
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Poppy Z. Brite (born Melissa Ann Brite, now going by Billy Martin) is an American author born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Born a biological female, Brite has written and talked much about his gender dysphoria/gender identity issues. He self-identifies almost completely as a homosexual male rather than female, and as of 2011 has started taking testosterone injections. His male name is Billy Martin.


Other books in the series

Rickey and G-Man (6 books)
  • Liquor (Rickey and G-Man #2)
  • Prime (Rickey and G-Man #3)
  • Soul Kitchen
  • D*u*c*k
  • Second Line: Two Short Novels of Love and Cooking in New Orleans
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“There were books about how to be gay; he'd seen them in stores and libraries. Some of them even had diagrams. But there weren't any diagrams about how to fall in love with your best friend and not fuck everything up.” 113 likes
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