I’ve Just Finished Edmund White’s A BOY’S OWN STORY, which yes I read primarily because I judged the book my its cover and having a thing for lightly tousled haired men and exceptional jaw lines, I would date this book so I guessed I might as well read it. (Plus he looks so fragile and emotional, not like those muscular hunks which flash their pecs like Madonna at a turkish concert, all over the covers of any romance novel that will have them. They’re tacky.)
First off I borrowed the Book from a friend, and perhaps he has kept it for years sequestered away in some shoe box as if it was some dark reminder of his darker fantasies, but for some as of yet unknown reason the book smells. Like not that old book smell, like actually smells. Reading pages was a noxious experience and perhaps it was this gentle and yet persistent aroma of decay that made me rather reluctant to read through the un-numerous pages that make up most of Edmund White’s some one autobiographical story of a young gay man growing up.
I have little to say on this book, in general its contents passed before my eyes much the way on coming cars do late at night on country lanes. You know where they pass you by like fire-flys and no one really ever remembers they came past at all. But yet there was something in this dream-like soporific style I found eased its way under my skin.
Disperate images, confused temporal structures, endless digressions, erotic passages all combined to make a rather surrealist piece. Or one that spoke to me certainly of the surrealist experience one undergoes in the process of sexual self awakening and identification. I found it in that regards to be an interesting story which uses its style to ape the process of coming out to both ones self and society.
But yeah, the smell just really got to me. Currently I have the book resting quite a distance from the rest of my library least its stench prove infectious. And now the word infectious has me thinking about zombies, and more importantly book zombies, and how much that would suck if all books became book zombies and they ate you… Yeah… I need to sleep.