Top critical review
on 25 May 2014
This novel has a place in history, as one of the first explicitly gay novels. That's about it.
The style is unoriginal, actually, dry, anodyne, clinical. Emotions are not conveyed well. Even sex is described as just that, sex. With a physical rather than emotional perspective. Not much is said about the psychological and emotional experience of growing up, let alone growing up gay. It's a matter-of-fact novel, very impersonal, despite the fact that it is allegedly based on White's own life. Well, if that is his life, he lived his life 'from a distance.'
Shop around, there are much more intense, emotionally dense, psychologically deep gay novels, much, much more.
This pales into insignificance compared to some other gay novels, including one amazing recent one that may even be the first gay Booker. Shop around, I say.