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Hey, Joe [Paperback]

Ben Neihart
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 April 2000
A novel first serialised in the "New Yorker". Joe Keith is a sorted, gay 16 year-old, meandering through a late-summer's day in New Orleans. Drinking Bourbon, smoking reefers and kissing strangers - Joe's night out will change his world forever.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (8 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749004541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749004545
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,305,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

A groundbreaking novel
'If Allen Ginsberg had plumped for writing stories instead of rambling poetry, the result might not have been a million miles away from this exuberant debut... This book was first published as a serial in the New Yorker, and has enough cliffhangers to keep the most restless magazine reader hooked...Vibrant, funny and utterly irresistible.' THE TIMES 'This terrific debut novel takes place one hot night in New Orleans and may strike some as an update on Tennessee Williams. This time the gayness is out front, but so sweetly dealt with that the kindness of strangers towards 16-year-old Joe is entirely understandable...The warmest portrait of the teenage years since Rob Reiner's 'Stand by Me'.' TIME OUT

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A good story hiding under a convulted plot 18 Jan 2001
By A Customer
The idea behind "Hey Joe" has terrific potential. This is no angst-ridden coming out tale - Joe knows who and what he is and is determined to enjoy it. Unfortunately, Neihart chooses not to concentrate on this, but to bury it in an extremely convulted plot; a plot which drags on occasion. "Hey Joe", unlike its subject, is in identity crisis. For some reason, Neihart has tried to weave Joe's story into a rather average thriller, and the link between the two aspects of the text is tenous in the extreme. Some very good ideas, but poorly executed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read but weak in places 15 Nov 2000
By gavdget
Hey Joe is a very interesting and entertaining book that kept me glued to it until it was finished. The pace of the book is impressive, skipping along in no time and the fact that it encompasses a single evening really helps.
The problems come with a plot that somehow connects with the central character, though the two appear to have very little in common. Joe is very well characterised as a young gay boy, completely at ease with who he is. Somehow his confidence is also his weakness as his character seems fully based upon this self-assuredness and changes little throughout. Nevertheless Hey Joe is still entertaining and deals well with the young loves of a gay boy, but at the same time it all seems a bit dream like and inconsequential, as if Joe made it all up whilst daydreaming on his bed.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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, 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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great Style, Meaningless Plot... 13 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book achieved a lot as far as dialouge, style,description of setting (New Orleans), and the characterization of Joe, but as for plot, most of it was random wandering or the sub-plot of a trial that was disconnected and irrelevant. It seemed like the whole trial story behind it was thrown in just to make it the length of a novel. I liked the main character, and I wish the author would have concentrated more on him and his 'coming of age' story without the annoyance of the in between trial chapters. On the whole, however, I found the book readable in a lighthearted way, but it is just not a memorable or life-changing book. Oh, but the last three lines of the novel were incredible.
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