This book is a fine delving into the sweet character of New Orleans gay youth, salty southern distric attorney scoops, and a tour of the real places of the city of night. I love the way that the health club is detailed, the way the hugs, kisses, and teenage belly buttons weave with the boney knee passion of the 16 y.o. hero. I was that boy, and many of the men I know were JOE. We answer to Joe, now Ben Neihart has made the call an archetype, an anthem for we who have walked the walk. Ben, YOU'RE THE BEST! No way this is one of those "false southern accent" works. Ben Neihart is a true poet of the south, of men interested in men, and in the special quality of New Orleans at night.
Hey, Joe! Or should I say, "Hey, Ben Neihart!" What a great fresh approach to the New Orleans scene. I know it from the bottom up, and can tell you this is THE FLAVOR OF NEW ORLEANS done right. It isn't the syrup jazz place some writers would have it be, no...it is a hip place, with fast mood and atmosphere changes, a taste of salty sweat on a forearm, a moonlit Mississippi River by night and a profound search for the connection that is sensual and at the same time creative and spiritual. I want to hug Ben Neihart and tell him: HEY, BEN! I LOVE YOU! For he has resurrected the longing of youth and the blessing of passion and pathos.