A Boy's Own Story Epub å A Boy's PDF/EPUB ²

A Boy's Own Story ☂ [PDF / Epub] ☁ A Boy's Own Story By Edmund White ✐ – Thomashillier.co.uk Originally published in as the first of Edmund White s trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy s Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality The book s unnamed originally published inas the first of Edmund White s trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy s Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality The book s unnamed narrator, growing up during the s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him A Boy's PDF/EPUB ² to seek out works of art and literature as solace and to uncover new relationships in the struggle to embrace his own sexuality Lyrical and poignant, with powerful evocations of shame and yearning, this is an American literary treasure.


10 thoughts on “A Boy's Own Story

  1. Michael Michael says:

    A series of six short character studies, A Boy s Own Story charts the emotional and aesthetic development of a sensitive young gay artist The story follows the unnamed son of a newly rich couple as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and reject his conservative upbringing In elaborate prose, White paints a vivid portrait of an adolescence characterized by shame, confusion, and longing, whether the author s describing his wealthy protagonist s first furtive sexual encounter or fles A series of six short character studies, A Boy s Own Story charts the emotional and aesthetic development of a sensitive young gay artist The story follows the unnamed son of a newly rich couple as he struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and reject his conservative upbringing In elaborate prose, White paints a vivid portrait of an adolescence characterized by shame, confusion, and longing, whether the author s describing his wealthy protagonist s first furtive sexual encounter or fleshing out his fraught relationship to his divorced parents The writing is occasionally moving but often overwritten and derivative of Proust and Mishima the storytelling also meanders, and the stakes of the plot feel exceptionally low Worse yet, the novel s many working class characters, be they white or Black, are cartoonish and stereotyped The book was a hit in the eighties, but it s aged poorly


  2. Fabian Fabian says:

    Elegant prose describing here a unique experience that hardly resembles my own The paramount reason I adore fiction In this, the truth of the matter That there are all types, there are many stories Sexuality is fixed only in our minds This is no mix between Salinger Wilde White is an American Alan Hollinghurst, or sometype bourgeois William Burroughs Elegant prose describing here a unique experience that hardly resembles my own The paramount reason I adore fiction In this, the truth of the matter That there are all types, there are many stories Sexuality is fixed only in our minds This is no mix between Salinger Wilde White is an American Alan Hollinghurst, or sometype bourgeois William Burroughs


  3. mark monday mark monday says:

    Edmund White portrays his younger life in a narcotic and poetic style not exactly the most flattering self portrait the protagonist s travails are emotionally affecting yet he remains creepily distanced from the events and people in his own life in particular from his equally creepy, distant, self absorbed father the apple does not fall far from the tree, i suppose overall, the language is some of the most beautiful, in my experience, of all of gay fiction rivaling even Giovanni s Room Edmund White portrays his younger life in a narcotic and poetic style not exactly the most flattering self portrait the protagonist s travails are emotionally affecting yet he remains creepily distanced from the events and people in his own life in particular from his equally creepy, distant, self absorbed father the apple does not fall far from the tree, i suppose overall, the language is some of the most beautiful, in my experience, of all of gay fiction rivaling even Giovanni s Room the prose is sometimes so gorgeous it becomes hypnotic the man certainly knows how to write the episodic nature of the book in some ways disguised by the circular narrative is rich with at times dreamy, other times cruelly crystal clear recountings of key moments in this boy s life i was so impressed by this one that i ve forced a couple friends straight ones to give it a go unfortunately, they both found the narrator to be, well poisonous would be an accurate word, although i m sure stronger, angrier words were used i suppose i can see that but the narrator is a character of depth, full of wry introspection and canny circumspection he lives in a marvelously layered and mysterious world, one where he often turns out to bepredator than prey the whole thing flows together in a way that is impressively cohesive and memorable a very individualistic achievement in the Gay Coming of Age subgenre all that, plus i ve never read asinister depiction of a blowjob in my life


  4. Santino Hassell Santino Hassell says:

    This is a hard book to rate, but I would give it a 3.5.It s said to be partly autobiographical and it does read like a memoir However, the story is not linear and at times the timeline is confusing Progressions of events are broken up by anecdotes that are sometimes told through narrative but are other times written out scene by scene The digressions are sometimes interesting but often felt unnecessary or disconnected from the main character s adolescent journey.Despite those criticisms, the This is a hard book to rate, but I would give it a 3.5.It s said to be partly autobiographical and it does read like a memoir However, the story is not linear and at times the timeline is confusing Progressions of events are broken up by anecdotes that are sometimes told through narrative but are other times written out scene by scene The digressions are sometimes interesting but often felt unnecessary or disconnected from the main character s adolescent journey.Despite those criticisms, the book is very readable At times it reminded me of Call Me by Your Name, but only in the sense that the narrator is a teenage boy who comes from a privileged background and feels isolated from his peers and at times his family But unlike the Italian backdrop of that novel, the narrator in A Boy s Own Story is a wealthy WASPish fellow with a stern Republican father, a flighty mother, and the setting is the 1950s Midwest There s a fair amount of racism in the novel and even though the mindset is accurate for the time period, that didn t make it any less cringe worthy There is also a lot of unrecognized white privilege in this book that makes the narrator a little insufferable He s a poor little rich boy who can get away with minor transgressions and risky behavior because he knows in the end he will be all right , but his internalized self hate and homophobia is so intense that I could still feel sympathy.Despite the negatives, there were still some things I could relate to The distant and only semi interested parents The type of parents who remind me of my own because their behavior begs the question Why did you ever have a kid in the first place But also, the adolescent feeling of feeling like you have to be something else to prove you re anything but what you really are I played sports and paraded enough girls around my parents for them to not ask too many questions The narrator tried to attach himself to the popular crowd, to become one of the guys, to immerse himself in the boyhood of a boarding school before ultimately giving up Like me, the narrator became unapologetic about his sexuality after a time But unlike me, there was still an internalized sense of alien wrongness.Apparently this is the first part in a trilogy, and I will be reading the others.Quotes that I connected with On escape This house where I d never felt I belonged no longer belonged to me, and the future so clearly charted for me college, career, wife, and white house wavering behind green trees was being exchanged On unwanted children My grandmother had not wanted my father, as she told him, she d pummeled her stomach with her fists every day while she was bearing him Nonetheless, my father somehow got born and survived On divorce The real excitement, of course, lay in learning that a life could be changed and that one could enter a brand new, better world On his mother Then something nice would happen Someone would compliment her or a ma would take an interest in her and presto, she was not only equal to other people but superior to them On his father Much later my stepmother told me I d caused my father weeks of sleepless despair and that at first he had chosen to believe I wasn t really a homosexual at all, merely a poseur hoping to appear interesting On cynicism and self hate We were losers who talked a winning game No wonder honesty came to mean for my sister saying only the most damaging things against herself If she began by admitting defeat, then something was possible sincerity, perhaps, or at least the avoidance of appearing ludicrous On ingrained homophobia I wanted to overcome this thing I was becoming and was in danger soon of being, the homosexual, as though that designation were the mold in which the water was freezing, the first crystals already forming a fragile membrane On being an alien Nothing I did or said among the other boys came to me naturally As a result, in every encounter, even the most glancing, I had to be a performer, for at all times I was aware I was impersonating a human being On marriage Marriage becameandimpossible, a transubstantiation as eerie and irreversible as death Perhaps by framing this ideal and funereal homosexual marriage in a prospect of poisonous flowers, I was making itandremote


  5. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    What a disappointment I thought I was an Edmund White fan but it turned out I just like the funny Edmund The Beautiful Room is Empty, My Lives There wasn t the faintest impression of the wan attenuated ghost of any kind of humour in the half that I read Not whatsoever This was Serious Edmund, this was Literary Edmund I just don t care for that guy He sthan somewhat pompous The other thing, and I haven t seen any other reviews refer to this, is that right there in chapter one we ha What a disappointment I thought I was an Edmund White fan but it turned out I just like the funny Edmund The Beautiful Room is Empty, My Lives There wasn t the faintest impression of the wan attenuated ghost of any kind of humour in the half that I read Not whatsoever This was Serious Edmund, this was Literary Edmund I just don t care for that guy He sthan somewhat pompous The other thing, and I haven t seen any other reviews refer to this, is that right there in chapter one we have a long full on sex scene between a 15 year old boy and a 12 year old boy It probably pushed the envelope back in 1982 but now even though the sex is entirely consensual and I m sure it depicted the reality of some teenage experience it can only make the modern reader uneasy Maybe I m turning into a conservative, I don t know


  6. Cody Cody says:

    Achingly beautifuland that s before the corn holing even begins White levels some serious stingers at you in this sucker, written with his customary flair for Proustian filigree While evidence that a truly fucked up childhood can engender great Art, the beneficiary me you etc thereof is behooved to ask Q Does that justify it A No It can never be worth the manifold tortures adults foist upon their young physical, psychological, or any variation of both I think cummings is applicable Achingly beautifuland that s before the corn holing even begins White levels some serious stingers at you in this sucker, written with his customary flair for Proustian filigree While evidence that a truly fucked up childhood can engender great Art, the beneficiary me you etc thereof is behooved to ask Q Does that justify it A No It can never be worth the manifold tortures adults foist upon their young physical, psychological, or any variation of both I think cummings is applicable hereyou shall above all things be glad and young you shall above all things be glad and young.For if you re young,whatever life you wearit will become you and if you are gladwhatever s living will yourself become.Girlboys may nothingthan boygirls need i can entirely her only lovewhose any mystery makes every man sflesh put space on and his mind take off timethat you should ever think,may god forbidand in his mercy your true lover spare for that way knowledge lies,the foetal gravecalled progress,and negation s dead undoom.I d rather learn from one bird how to singthan teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.


  7. Trin Trin says:

    Judging by this book, the average young boy can, before the age of 15, look forward to being approached for sex by A 12 year old straight baby jock who s really into anal Not one, but two separate camp counselors A special student who wanders around with a constant erection, which everyone just accepts, like, Oh hey, it s whatshisname with his perma boner A teacher and his wife looking for a three way A totally different teacher A female black prostitute A guy in a park who s actually jus Judging by this book, the average young boy can, before the age of 15, look forward to being approached for sex by A 12 year old straight baby jock who s really into anal Not one, but two separate camp counselors A special student who wanders around with a constant erection, which everyone just accepts, like, Oh hey, it s whatshisname with his perma boner A teacher and his wife looking for a three way A totally different teacher A female black prostitute A guy in a park who s actually just trying to con you out of 200I think I m forgetting someone, but hey, you can always fill your downtime with sexual fantasies about your own father Look, I get that my experience does not in any way equal the universal experience, least of all that of a young gay man from half a century ago Still, the sexual content of this book is so over the top that I started to feel like, instead of one of the Classics of Gay Literature, I had accidentally acquired an A B O fic in book form A Boy s Own Story is supposed to be an autobiographical novel, but it has very little narrative mostly it s a series of incidents, loosely tied together The novel s notes reveal that several of the chapters were originally written and published separately, and it shows This format only serves to make the narrator s adventures seemcrazed and unlikely you reach a point in almost every chapter where you start to distantly hear the bow chicka bow wow music playing Dear Playgirl, all I did was order a pizza, but you ll never believe what happened All that said White can be a beautiful and descriptive writer I read this because I loved The Flaneur A Stroll through the Paradoxes of Paris, a work of nonfiction about wandering around Paris and the history of several marginalized groups there There are flashes of what made me respond to that book in A Boy s Own Story descriptions of the hotel the narrator lives in with his mother and sister, of summer at his father s lake house, of a woman who runs a bookstore These passages are filled with brilliant, vivid observation I will definitely be seeking outof White s nonfiction work.But I eyerolled throughout all of this novel s sexual shenanigans I must be getting old Elderly and cantankerous as I am, I have one last bone to pick, although not with White Staring out at me from the front of my edition was this blurb from the Chicago Sun Times The best American narrative of sexual awakening since The Catcher in the Rye Um Did you read The Catcher in the Rye, anonymous Chicago Sun Times critic from 1982 Or did you just catch the A B O AU on AO3 Just checkingIf you don t know what this is, bask in your innocence


  8. Magid Magid says:

    There s a kind of bittersweet loneliness excitement at sexual awakening that most gays will intrinsically understand and that White always manages to caputure so perfectly Somehow, he romances the unromantic, charming us with images of cruising in parks and getting STD s.


  9. Proustitute Proustitute says:

    Like a blind man s hands exploring a face, the memory lingers over an identifying or beloved feature but dismisses the rest as just a curve, a bump, an expanse Only this feature these lashes tickling the palm like a firefly or this breath pulsing hot on a knuckle or this vibrating Adam s apple only this feature seems lovable, sexy But in writing one draws in the rest, the forgotten parts One even composes one s improvisations into a quite new face never glimpsed before, the likeness of an in Like a blind man s hands exploring a face, the memory lingers over an identifying or beloved feature but dismisses the rest as just a curve, a bump, an expanse Only this feature these lashes tickling the palm like a firefly or this breath pulsing hot on a knuckle or this vibrating Adam s apple only this feature seems lovable, sexy But in writing one draws in the rest, the forgotten parts One even composes one s improvisations into a quite new face never glimpsed before, the likeness of an invention Busconi once said he prized the most those empty passages composers make up to get from one good part to another He said such workmanlike but minor transitions revealabout a composer the actual vernacular of his imagination than the deliberately bravura moments I say all this by way of hoping that the lies I ve made up to get from one poor truth to another may mean something may even mean something most particular to you, my eccentric, patient, scrupulous reader, willing to make so much of so little,patient andrespectful of life, of a life, than the author you re allowing for a moment to exist yet again


  10. Eli Easton Eli Easton says:

    I read this for my lifetime challenge 1982 I picked A Boy s Own Story because it s also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list Unfortunately, it s another one from the list I didn t particularly enjoy It is not a long book, but it felt long and was a chore to get through it.The book is the memoir of a boy coming to terms or not with being gay While that topic interested me, and I had no issues with the sexual content in the book, the actual writing didn t hold my interes I read this for my lifetime challenge 1982 I picked A Boy s Own Story because it s also on the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list Unfortunately, it s another one from the list I didn t particularly enjoy It is not a long book, but it felt long and was a chore to get through it.The book is the memoir of a boy coming to terms or not with being gay While that topic interested me, and I had no issues with the sexual content in the book, the actual writing didn t hold my interest There is no narrative thread in the book It reads like a memoir, skipping from incident to incident I enjoyed that in Tove Jansson s The Summer Book , but in that book the writing was sparse and elegant and had a subtle poignant wry humor A Boy s Own Story is very over written with elaborate prose and dense metaphors all the time And though I found myself highlighting in many places where a sentence struck me as being very beautiful and rather profound, the overall effect page after page was to obscure and weight down the story It was hard to stay focused It was like listening to a professor who rambles on and on I also found I didn t like the main character There was a lot of pretentiousness, talking about Proust and Sartre and a general air of I m so much smarter than everyone else When it really came across as very White and fusty dated now And then in the end the boy does something which is reprehensible view spoiler He seduces a teacher and then reports him for marijuana possession He does this with every forethought and intention of ruining the man And why The man never did anything to him But it was part of the boy s self hatred for being gay He wanted to have sex with and then betray a man , as if by doing so he could show that he really wasn t homosexual, because he didn t love the man or he wouldn t have been able to betray him Okay hide spoiler I understand how this act was thematically about self loathing and not being able to accept his homosexuality, but it nevertheless made me dislike him intensely So self centered So I can t really recommend this book, and at this point I m not feeling the 1001 Books list either However, if you like very dense, poetic prose, and a picture of what it was like to grow up gay when it was really quite a terrible thing to be, you may find this book worth your time Below is one particularly evocative passage No sooner would such a temptation present itself than I would smother it The effect was of snuffing out a candle, two candles, a row of twenty, until the lens pulled back to reveal an entire votive stand exhaling a hundred thin lives of smoke as a terraced offering before the shrine In this religion hidden lights had been declared superior to those that glared.


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