Junction X Paperback – 1 Nov 2011
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|Paperback, 1 Nov 2011||
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Top customer reviews
So yes, it's a must read, and if I were you I'd make sure you are somewhere warm and quiet and comfortably lonely because snivelling on the bus or at your office desk in your lunch hour can be a bit embarrassing.
4 stars up above, but I think it's probably worth a good bit more than that.
It was a story I couldn't put down, and right through to the end (and it's only in the last few pages, it starts to hit home what course the end will take) I was hooked and engrossed.
Find yourself a quite corner and have a tissue or two handy for the end, you're going to need it. The memory and effect the ending has on me was quite powerful and stayed with me for a good few days afterwards! This is certainly a story I would revisit again, further down the line (if you will forgive the pun)!
The story of tragic lovers Edward and Alex sets the bar so high that it is where fiction becomes literature. Beautifully nuanced and written, and every character is fully realised. The subtle use of historical referencing that makes the story feel authentic and believeable. Erastes skillfully captures the stifling environment of English middle-class surburbia in the early 1960s. She depicts the lengths one was required to go through at a time when such relationships were illegal (homosexuality was not decriminalised until 1967 in the UK, and the age of consent for gay men was 21). Edward is thoroughly decent chap whose infatuation , and eventual love , for the teen boy 'next door' will lead him on a journey of deception, delusion and ulitmately tragedy.
There are no winners in this tale. I even have sympathy for Edward's wife Val, a former tennis star hopeful, who struggles to fulfil her role as the dutiful wife, and yet is clearly a highly intelligent and beautiful woman hemmed in by the social expectations of the times.Erates book calls to mind the 1961 British film 'Victim' which was released in the same period as the setting for this story. However the film 'Brief Encounter' (made in 1945) is a better comparison, and referred to by the main character.
The book skillfully demonstrates how desire, lust and love can lead the most buttoned-up individuals to throw everything away. There's much more I can say, but others have already submitted better reviews that me , and I do not want to give away the plot. I will say that this is one the most rewarding books I have read in a while and I look forward to Erastes' next work .
Highly recommended - hankies at the ready.
So this is just my own thoughts:
I feel as though I have been plonked into a mincer, feet first, while Erastes has slowly turned the handle, reducing me to a wobbly pile of goo, which can never, never, however hard I try, be moulded back into quite the same person I was before.
This is why I read.
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