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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
The Boys on the Rock by John Fox 
28th-Jan-2006 11:05 pm
Huh. Another author whose novel is set in NYC and New Jersey and whose last name begins with "F." Just a coincidence. Really. :P

Fox, John. The Boys on the Rock. 1984. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.
Summary: High school sophomore Billy Conners decides to volunteer for McCarthy's Democratic primary bid and meets Al DiCicco, a college student. Both find much in common, such a swimming, and start to fall in love. Unfortunately, though, Al, an aspiring politician, won't come out of the closet, and the two break up with rancor.
Comments: An unreliable narrator (who admits to being nearly a compulsive liar) coupled with a narrative chock-full of stream-of-consciousness run-on sentences makes for a exceedingly quick but rather less than pleasurable read. There is a half-hearted extended metaphor of UFOS/aliens/other planets to represent Billy's feelings of alienation and the belief that there is no viable alternative within the current social system. The image of "the boys on the rock" is a dream of resistance, but that's all it is--a dream. It's a depressing thing all around, and, while in a climatic scene Billy admits to his homosexuality (and at the same time implicating a resistant Al) in front of his former girlfriend and her new derisive boyfriend, there is no happy ending. Evan and Kevin, two rock-solid and oblivious friends? twin brothers? lovers? on Billy's swim team have been broken apart, Evan dead and Kevin mourning so hard that he's practically dead to the world as well. I suppose there was a certain amount of literary potential here. But that's all it was. Potential that will remain forever unrealized.
Notes: trade paperback, 7th printing
Rating: 5/10 - Relatively early (pre-AIDS) gay fiction that may have, at the time, shocked with its sexual explicitness, but it does not stand the test of time especially well.
30th-Jan-2006 09:03 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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