Fiction Paul Russell Boys of Life (Plume)

ISBN 13: 9780452268371

Boys of Life (Plume)

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9780452268371: Boys of Life (Plume)

In this powerful novel, the acclaimed author of The Salt Point portrays a coming of age overshadowed by an ominous infatuation with a dangerous man. Owen, Kentucky, just isn't big enough for Tony Blair. Bored with small-town life, already a problem drinker at 17, Tony is restless--ideal prey for Carlos Reichart, a Warhol-esque filmmaker.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Another bisexual soap opera from Russell (The Salt Point, 1990), this time about a Kentucky boy seduced by a New York filmmaker and brought to the Big Apple to make sadomasochistic movies. Tony Blair, writing a tell-all (from prison, we learn) because ``folks are basically buzzards when it comes to famous people,'' lives with his mom and brother in Owen, Kentucky, until he meets Carlos Reichart, in town to make a movie. Reichart, part genius, part guru, part psychopathic vampire, quickly has fellatio with Blair (Reichart: ``I've got you now. A person's semen contains every piece of information about that person'') and convinces him to return to his tenement loft in New York. Under Reichart's influence, Tony explores the scene and comes of age: ``Whatever was there for him to corrupt would've gotten corrupted anyway....'' As for Reichart, ``he knew it was fate.'' He puts Tony in his movies (Next Year in Gomorrah, The Gospel According to Sodom, and so forth). Then, as Reichart (``I'm making reality'') becomes increasingly drawn to life and porno instead of art, Tony reads (and shares with us) numerous interviews and film-mag pieces about Reichart, hangs out with a motley crew of kids and hangers-on, and finally meets Monica. He walks out on Reichart, goes to Memphis, and marries Monica, but things don't work out--in fact, Tony attends a controversial Reichart screening and discovers that the movie is dedicated to his brother, who (unknown to Tony) has been killed making a Reichart movie. Tony returns to New York, confronts Reichart, and, during fellatio in Central Park, stabs the filmmaker through the heart with a fence picket before turning himself in. This one works an intriguing vein where sex, violence, and the world of the auteur intersect, but melodrama and graphic sex limit its appeal. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

As this compelling novel opens, Tony Blair, ex-cult film star, is in prison for murder. How he got there is the puzzle that drives this powrful coming-of-age story, a tragedy about an emotionally battered gay youth with appeal that easily extend beyond a gay readership. At 16, callow Tony is plucked from a Kentucky trailer by arty filmmaker Carlos Reichart, who seduces him, brings him to New York as his live-in lover and casts him in a series of homoerotic, increasingly violent and sadomasochistic films. As Tony, now 26, recalls the past decade, we learn how he enlisted runaway boys for Carlos's sexually explicit movies, and how he broke free of Carlos's destructive grip by marrying a rock singer, Monica, and moving to Memphis. The electrifying climax which sends Tony to jail comes as a surprise. Russell ( The Salt Point ) has crafted a timely, involving tale that explores the outer limits of gay sexuality and the point at which art or artiness slides into exploitation.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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