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All American Boy...The Novel


Lucky
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There is a new book out called All American Boy by William J. Mann. The cover features a large pic of a Benjamin Nicholas type on a bike, shirt opened. It's downhill from there.

 

Some gay novels can be pretty good, and that may have been the case with the author's earlier novels, Where The Boys Are, or The Men From The Boys, but it is hard to believe since this one is so barely readable. (I didn't finish it after I found myself skipping multiple pages).

 

The main character has been called home by his ditzy mother, back to the small town where he escaped after an affair with an older man, whom he turned in to the police. Of course, the table gets turned as a sassy 16 year old now seduces him. This boy in turn had been after older men since he was 11. The author at points can't seem to decide if he is writing porn or trying for a serious novel. The main thng we learn is that the main character, the All American boy, was a good boy. Or, you can't go home again, or something like that.

 

Beyond that, lines like this are sure to help you fall asleep:

"He knows his town. He knows the stories they tell, the secrets they keep. But they don't know his. Beyond the houses of his street rise the hills, where the orchards run deep and dark..." Huh?

 

Now I 'll probably find out that the author is a poster here...maybe he can tell me what I am missing in his new novel.

 

What are you reading?

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I am glad to hear that I was not the only one who could make it through

All American Boy. I tried everything possible to enjoy the book --- skipped pages, began in the middle --- it just did not work for me.

 

I have really liked Mann's Hollywood books (Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood & Wisecracker:The Life and Times of William Haines). I liked his Provincetown novels that Lucky mentioned less, but had no trouble reading them. Those two books had characters that came to life almost from the first page, at least for me.

 

It has been a while since I have read a good new gay novel. (War Against the Animals (2003) by Paul Russell & At Swim, Two Boys (2001) by Jamie O'Neill come to mind.) Has Kensington, which seems to publish a new gay romance novel in hardcover every month, crowded out other publishers?

I believe all of Mann's novels were published by Kensington. Ironically, William Mann's novels usually end up side by side with Thomas Mann's in Barnes & Noble and Borders.

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RE: ...The Novel

 

Middlemarch? All 816 pages? I actually read the whole book, but that was a long time ago. Or is there a new book out with that title as well?

 

I just read The Kite Runner, which was good although it came close to sappy at points. It's undoubtedly as close as I will ever get to experiencing a little of Afghanistan.

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