- Paperback: 146 pages
- Publisher: Valancourt Books (14 Jan. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1939140773
- ISBN-13: 978-1939140777
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 953,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Leather Boys Paperback – 14 Jan 2014
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About the Author
<div><div><b>Gillian Freeman</b> is a former scriptwriter for filmmaker Robert Altman and the author of <i>His Mistress’s Voice</i>, <i>The Leather Boys</i>, and <i>Nazi Lady.</i></div></div>
Michael Arditti is the author of "The Celibate," "Good Clean Fun," "Pagan and Her Parents," and "Unity,"
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is an essential read for anyone who might be interested in the late 50's and the youth of that time, it may come over as rather quaint to Americans, because I'm sure that American bikers were never quite that shy and gauche as some of the characters here. Although - sorry to disappoint you once again - this isn't exactly about biker boys either. Hell, could a book and a blurb and a cover BE more misleading?
Anyway, there's not much to the story, really. Reggie is married but dissatisfied. His wife has told him that she's pregant with another man's child so he leaves her. He meets up with Dick, another biker, who lives with his ailing grandmother in a typical two up two down terraced house with no loo but the one outside.
When the two young men do get together it's not accompanied by pages of pre-kiss angst. They are friends, and neither of them see much further than that. Reggie has moved in with Dick, and as was more common in those more innocent times they sleep in the same bed. One night it just seems right and they kiss. Any sexual conduct is off screen, but is clearly alluded to afterwards. Dick is the one who asks "is this love?Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Both men are trapped in their situations, Dick with his strangers as parents and ailing grandmother, Reggie with his wife Dot who might or might not be pregnant by someone else. This leads them to lives of crime and the love that, at the time, dared not speak its name. Reggie is beaten to death when Dot tips off the ringleader Les that they were going off on their own to rob a cinema. The criminals are punished and Dick rides off at the end on Reggie's motorcycle. Freeman's work predates Brokeback Mountain by forty odd years and the leather associations of 1970s gay culture by a decade. One half expects Dick to scream, "I can't quit you!" as he rides off at the end.
Apparently, this was made into a film much like Colin MacInnes' more famous Mod work Absolute Beginners.
An ear for cockney is necessary to read it, if that makes sense, and it's a quick read if you can find it, albeit a little passe now, but you see that a lot in the books of the period. Transgressions against society MUST be punished, whether it be this work, MacInnes' work or Burgess' work. Reggie dies as much for robbing the cinema as he does for developing feelings for Dick.
And yes, the double entendre is milked in one scene within the text.