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Fielding Gray: A Novel Hardcover – 1 Aug 1985

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Beaufort Books Inc. (Aug. 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825303109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825303104
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,698,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Set in an unnamed boys' public school in the months following Germany's surrender in May 1945, Fielding Gray appears to be highly autobiographical, as, like his eponymous protagonist, Raven was expelled from such a school (Charterhouse) for homosexual activities despite similar scholastic and cricketing prowess. He also had a understandably loathed father.

17-year-old golden schoolboy hero Fielding conceives lustful and vaguely romantic feelings for "not clever" and "not handsome" Christopher Roland, his own age, to whom any explanation of his love is impossible due to his being "of very conventional outlook and not pervious to ideas." He has hope nevertheless because convention at their school took in "the notion of the 'pash' which any boy might entertain for another, usually a younger one."

"From the age of thirteen and a half," Fielding had amused himself "with a variety of boys and without any ill effects," but his tentative pursuit of Christopher ruins their lives. Their only amorous encounter is wrecked by Christopher's premature over-excitement and such love as Fielding had felt for him evaporates with Christopher's consequent loss of innocence, leaving only a little intermittent lust. Aided by a rich assortment of fascinatingly obnoxious characters, from these small beginnings things spiral out of control until Fielding's once-assured plans for a worthwhile life are permanently wrecked.

So what really went wrong? Apart from the generous and worldly Senior Usher, Fielding is the only likeable character, his nicest friend Peter Morrison delivering the coup de grâce out of priggishness. But Fielding too is flawed, his aspirations not nearly matching his talents.
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