Dan Skinner is a man on a mission. That mission is to never, ever be pigeonholed as one type of author. Yes, everything he has written has been about gay men (or boys), because he is one, but other than that, they are vastly different. In The Bible Boys, Dan takes on a topic that could cause some controversy: fundamental, bible-believing, evangelical churches and their hateful view of people who were created homosexual.
Having been one of those Bible bangers myself for most of my adult life, the themes in this book resonate with me personally on one side of my brain. Having a brother who is gay caused the themes in the book to resonate on the opposite side of my brain. Picture a little cartoon Taz running wild in my skull the first time I read this book. I am so thankful that the rainbow side of my brain has won.
Everyone who would pick up a book about young gay men either knows someone who has had or they themselves have had personal experience with a hater using the Bible as their weapon of choice. I don't think they will ever go away. There will always be people willing to use the word of God to incite hate in others toward one group or another. But gay folks aren't going anywhere either. This is a war that no one can win.
As is his custom, Dan creates layered, lovable characters and enables you to feel the wind on your face with his detailed description of how they feel it on theirs. His words invoke pictures, memories, feelings of love and longing. You feel the touch of another human hand on your naked body for the first time all over again because he describes that feeling through his characters' minds so flawlessly. You feel the bigotry of an ignorant hateful soul directed at you because Caleb and Matt feel it and Dan gives their feelings voice to stir the emotions in your heart, those that you felt as a teenager. I could run out of words spouting my love of all the things and ways in which Dan Skinner makes a reader feel.
Better than that, you can read The Bible Boys and cry, laugh, cringe, nod in agreement, shake your head in disgust, clench your fist in anger. And when you get to that scene (you'll know the one) you can say out loud "He did NOT just write that." But he did. Because he is an artist who doesn't worry that someone might be offended by his art. It's his creation. We are so lucky he chooses to share it with us. Thank you for another deeply moving story Dan. Dig a couple more out of the drawer and let's dust 'em off.