Golden Boy: A compelling, brave novel about coming to terms with being intersex Hardcover – 9 May 2013
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Terrific. A poignant, brave and important book. (S J WATSON, author of Before I Go to Sleep)
A gripping read. [Tarttelin] is a natural storyteller. (Matt Haig METRO)
A warmly human coming-of-age story... [Max's] desperate search for identity is gripping, emotionally engaging, and genuinely unforgettable, as, indeed, is this accomplished first novel. (BOOKLIST (USA))
a coming-of-age story worth seeking out from a young author widely tipped for great things (DIVA)
I knew I was really into this when I missed my stop on the bus! It's about gold-star pupil, Max, and his MP dad, who have to deal with a hidden family secret surfacing. (COMPANY)
If a book with literary ambition should both inform and entertain, as well as make you see the world in a different way, if only slightly, then Tarttelin has certainly achieved that. (Peter Raynard LITRO)
An original read about a young person in an extraordinary situation... Unlike anything you will have read before... Brave, unique and utterly compelling. This is a book that will certainly make you think about life. (HEAT MAGAZINE)
Tarttelin broaches the topic of intersexuality bravely, describes the crimes committed against Max intensely, and evokes his ensuing emotions poignantly. A highly praised new author, her fresh, modern approach and contemporary writing style result in an inimitably of-the-moment novel which is beautifully matter-of-fact, eloquently meditative and fearlessly action-packed, all at once. (WE LOVE THIS BOOK)
Golden Boy is an undeniably one of the most incredible books I have ever read...Such an important novel, one I wish everyone would read, one I feel should be read in schools. It's perfect, and I am so, so glad I've had the opportunity to read it. (www.onceuponabookcase.co.uk)
An astonishingly good novel covering a rarely touched topic. (SO SO GAY)
Unlike anything you will have read before... Brave, unique and utterly compelling. This is a book that will certainly make you think about life. (HEAT MAGAZINE)
The truth will out in this gritty, cool and brilliantly compelling novel from one of the hippest young authors around.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
It's a bit of a wake-up call really, to see someone struggling with something most of us must take for granted: Am I a boy or a girl? Who am I attracted to? What will I look like as I grow up?
Early on, Max's fairly-straightforward teenage years are violently shattered by a family friend who immediately changes Max's life, confidence and identity. Max's younger brother (who displays classic symptoms of Aspergers'), his parents, his doctor Archie and his female friend Sylvie all narrate in turn and fill out the story from every perspective.
We see the gender issues from the academic perspective of the interested and empathic doctor, the innocent and unbiased child, the too-involved and trying-hard-not-to-but-being-controlling parent, the loving girlfriend. And Max as well.
It's a horrendous emotional and physical journey that Max finds himself on, and the reader starts finding themselves questioning assumptions and stereotypes about gender.
Max is intelligent and thoughtful and hard to dislike. I really liked the multiple narrators, seeing the characters through their own eyes and those of other people, and how they appear differently in each.
The writing is very confident and flows once you understand the structure of the chapters. You come to understand how Max's differences affect so many people around him, but question how that can be - he's just a typical adolescent, but outside of one of society's `norms'.
Wonderful read, with some graphic scenes early on, it's a teenage love story, family drama, coming-of-age tale and hopefully will show on some awards shortlists in the near future.
With thanks to NewBooks magazine for the review copy.
The start truly shocks, events increasingly to grip as they spiral out of control. Good-natured but vulnerable Max himself greatly appeals - hitherto excelling both in studies and at sport, from now on in danger of meltdown and desperate for an ally. (At one point he confesses to "a really bad autumn", an understatement most moving.)
This novel is important, sensitively exploring a situation about which so little is known (although apparently more common than expected). Throughout there is much to admire and to learn, as Max struggles to come to terms. The tale so involves, angst in plenty as pressures mount, that there is a real fear only tragedy can result. Many will yearn for a happy outcome - a sign of how much we have grown to care.
Here skilful writing and acute observation open eyes and provoke much thought.
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