A Boy's Own Story

A Boy s Own Story 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 unn
  • Title: A Boy's Own Story
  • Author: Edmund White
  • ISBN: 9780375707407
  • Page: 482
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Boy's Own Story
    Originally published in 1982 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 narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him to seek out works of art and liteOriginally published in 1982 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 narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him 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.
    A Boy's Own Story By Edmund White,
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      Edmund White

    About " Edmund White "

  • Edmund White

    Edmund White s novels include Fanny A Fiction, A Boy s Own Story, The Farewell Symphony, and A Married Man He is also the author of a biography of Jean Genet, a study of Marcel Proust, The Fl neur A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris, and, most recently, his memoir, My Lives Having lived in Paris for many years, he is now a New Yorker and teaches at Princeton University He was also a member of The Violet Quill, a gay writer s group that met briefly from 1980 81.


  • 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 [...]

  • 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 and Wilde White is an American Alan Hollinghurst, or a bourgeois William Burroughs.

  • 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 boo [...]

  • Achingly beautifuld 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 here you shall [...]

  • 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 tryin [...]

  • 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.

  • This groundbreaking novel about a gay teenage boy coming of age in the 1950s is full of nostalgia and the yearning to be comfortable with oneself The narrator recalls snippets of his formative years in which he struggles with his sexuality and the sense of shame that accompanies his then forbidden desires The writing is elegant and the story is an important one to tell, though I found certain sections to be far affecting and compelling than others This was an uneven read for me, though I m glad [...]

  • A book about a gay boy in the US during the 50 s This coming of age story is peppered with lyrical prose and said to be an instant hit when it was first published in 1982 Considering that the setting of the story is in the heartland of the conservative US and it was in the 50 s before the rock n roll era , the difficulties that the author of this semi autobiographical novel went through to fight for his desire to be loved by men including his father are something worth knowing As the blurb says, [...]

  • A Boy s Own Story is about a young boy s coming of age and his coming out in the 1950s It is told in a very sensitive voice and the language used is very beautiful At the beginning of the book there is a very explicit sex scene I was quite surprised at that because I had never expected that I ve read a lot of books by John Irving who especially in his later work uses a lot of sex scenes as well but never anything like that.I always enjoy reading coming of age stories including the ones set at bo [...]

  • 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 n [...]

  • To be sixteen again, curled up on a bed devouring a novel in one afternoon Of course, in 1982 the year ABOS was published few gay themed novels were readily available I was lucky to live in an area with a public library that stocked the book The 1980s the apex of gay fiction written by gay men for gay men A celebration of the American spirit, with a homoerotic twist The essence of individuality Man versus society American authors fed us the antihero from surname less Ishmael to dropout Holden Ca [...]

  • The last of White s novels that I picked up, and to be honest I wasn t expecting any surprises Was I stupid I cringe when I hear this book praised as if it were the first and best thing White ever wrotebut it is very good After the fervid manner of Nocturnes for the King of Naples still my favorite of his books White took to heart Isherwood s advice to write plainly The style he achieves in this book is a marvel A formal chasteness that doesn t trammel lyricism, a clarity that doesn t dry up th [...]

  • An account of growing up queer when growing up queer wasn t as mainstream as it is today I think will appeal almost universally to a gay audience, but also to anyone who has felt different or like an outsider It also deals with some interesting father son issues.

  • A strong 3.5 Is it real wet and slippery in there Some guy told me it was like a wet liver in a milk bottle One of the many weird and funny quotes from this book A boy s own story follows a young boy s story and his relationship with his family and exploring his sexuality It isn t what you would expect to be from the outset, which makes is quite refreshing I had some problems while reading the book, for example, A boy that is 15 that is goes from calling his father daddy in a child like manner t [...]

  • This wasn t what I expected to find when I picked this book I expected a story based on a real life experience what it turned out to be was a collection of anecdotes from a life, tied together loosely through a vaguely chronological perspective and a bunch of generously worded descriptions of people, emotions and locations The narrative is personal and from the foreword we learn that it is indeed an autobiographical story The author also lets us know that he was an addict while he wrote this boo [...]

  • Edmund White is the type of writer who freely uses words like uxorious in his novels without batting an eyelash Thus it s small wonder it was such a chore for me to plod through this book back as a young twentysomething my little punkass simply wasn t ready for such writerly erudition and I henceforth banned Mr White to the shameful rank of Privileged Irrelevant Old Gay White Male Writer PIOGWMW , basically the literary equivalent of a Sweater Queen to my judgmental young mind But that s all cha [...]

  • Prima parte di una tetralogia autobiografica, questa storia di un giovane americano si distingue per la sua accecante bellezza in un panorama ricco di storie simili.Il racconto scordinato, non progressivo cronologicamente, con salti improvvisi avanti e indietro nel tempo, scardina di fatto la classica struttura del bildungsroman, liberandolo dalle grinfie del genere e permettendogli di librarsi in volo I pochi, ma sostanziosi capitoli, sono quasi delle storie indipendenti, che mostrano lo stesso [...]

  • 3.5 Stars Really, GR, work on the half stars NOW They are necessary It took me than I expected to finish this book To be fairly honest I struggled a bit with it, and I m not entirely sure that I can pinpoint the why of that.This is a coming of age story that takes place in the 50 s It seems rather autobiographical, but the timeline is kind of messy so it made it a bit difficult for me to follow it up I mean, rather than a plotted story that had a defined beginning ending, this was a bunch of an [...]

  • When I first started reading this, I couldn t figure out why I had never heard about it before the writing is really quite good But then I realized that for all of his belletrism, White doesn t really write about anything very compelling or interesting Sure there s some smut and the carefree if shopworn experience of the rich white boy away at boarding school, wearing his immunities to consequence like his house s heraldic colors But nothing much goes on.I read this because it s the first in a s [...]

  • You know it was definitely good The writing and language was truly beautiful and I honestly enjoyed the short novel Why only three stars Well perhaps the writing was too beautiful I often found myself having to go back a re read paragraphs because I realized I wasn t really paying attention to what I was reading I m glad I picked it up and I fully intend on continuing with the three book series but maybe I may need to wait until the semester is over to limit my distractions.


  • 3,5 Not totally in love with the prose, but some parts were beautiful and the ending really was very compelling.

  • I ve been eager to acquire this book for some time now and although I didn t enjoy it nearly half as much as I thought I would, I m still pleased I finally managed to read it Here we go A Boy s Own Story features a nameless protagonist living in America and struggling to discern his own identity through an intangible web of pain, loneliness, and homophobia After a somewhat innocent commingling with a younger boy, purely for experimental read pleasurable purposes, he begins to realise his feeling [...]

  • An enjoyable little bildungsroman, from the vantage point of a gay child teenager from a wealthy but broken family White s style inclines to the good, but he can be a bit too knowing at times his cultural reference points seem to be his own, rather than his protagonist s, at times I realize this is at least in part a loosely autobiographical novel, but there were moments where I d find myself thinking Does this 13 year old boy really know anything about Proust and those moments did take me out o [...]

  • This book starts out well, giving an interesting evokation of a gay man s youth in the Midwest, small town America, but when the main character enters boarding school, it veers off course and I lost interest In the end, White s story supposedly autobiographical comes off as a bit difficult to believe, as though halfway into the composition he decided his goal was not to write a realist rendering of his life, but to shock and be sensationalist Perhaps in the time it was written, there was some po [...]

  • If he wasn t writing about gay men, he would be as famous as any major modern author From what I ve read of the modern canon, he and Toni Morrison are the best writers I didn t mind the nonlinear, even random, sequencing of the book His metaphors and imagery are so stunning and so specific The book isn t the most emotional, by design I imagine, but you can identify with his passing summations of what the character is feeling at any given moment White really spells out what it s like, than Holle [...]

  • The anguish this young man feels about his sexuality, both the coming of age and the realization that he is actually a homosexual, is so beautifully written The author s verbal cleverness makes erotic poetry out of the most mundane features of growing up Of course, this made me think of all the young men who don t fit in, and feel bullied and desperate as they sense the growing gulf between themselves and their age mates.

  • This book is often named as a classic gay coming of age story It is well written and readable, but beyond that I found it utterly depressing The main character seems to always be looking for love, or at least some emotional connection, but only finds sex sometimes exploitative and ultimately, ways to manipulate others with sex I wanted to care about him, but by the end it was a very unlikeable fellow that I closed the book on.

  • I enjoyed this quite a bit, and I appreciate how White resisted the impulse to describe coming of age as a linear narrative Instead he jumps around, and things happen, not necessarily with any particular order, and it feels a lot genuine I love his almost flamboyant prose, and I m very curious to read the next book in his coming of age series.

  • remember reading this over 15 years ago and being struck by the harshness and lack of empathy on the part of the hero Picked it up again a couple of days ago and in just looking at random here and there found my opinion hadn t really changed Cold and manipulative I do love White s style of writing but not his characters

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