Setting the Lawn on Fire: A Novel Hardcover – 30 Sep 2005
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"The summer I turned twenty I fell in love with traveling and a boy named Sean. We lived in a tent made from plywood and pallets and stolen blue tarpaulin. We worked the same line in an Alaskan fish factory. We watched the river for biplanes and rock cod and swooping black cormorants. We climbed a mountain and stashed red wine in the snow. When we weren't working Sean would take off the only shirt he ever wore. He was a quiet mousy boy about five-five. His mother had recently killed herself. He never told us how. He had shiny white canines, thin black eye-brows, a small short nose, and long hazel eyes. His hair was fine and oily and dish-water blonde and flopped over his face so he had to wear a hairnet when he excised the skulls before the tops went on the cans." - excerpt from Setting the Lawn on Fire"
About the Author
Mack Friedman is the author of Strapped for Cash: A History of American Hustler Culture. His essays have been featured at the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art and the Leslie-Lohman Gallery, and his performance art has been showcased at the Andy Warhol Museum. His stories have appeared in the anthologies Obsessed, Wonderlands, and Barnstorm. This is his first novel.
Top Customer Reviews
It is 1985 and Ivan's friendship with Jeremy shapes much of his adolescence and his bourgeoning attraction towards men. He even admits that he didn't know what he was becoming, "it was because I didn't think I was. I had a sense of it but my point of view was limited: it was skin-deep and the boys always had clothes on."
An experience with his gymnastics teacher alters forever his prudish and hesitant views on sex, but it is the erotic images of boys in medical textbooks, that awakens Ivan to the first enthralls of self-pleasure, and he gradually becomes obsessed with these distilled images. Their influence over Ivan is undeniably powerful, his fascination with these boys largely affecting his ability to relate to men later in his journey.
In his early twenties, Ivan travels to the island of Ketchikan, off the west coast of British Columbia to work as a day laborer in a fish factory. Here he meets a bunch of other like-minded young, sexually frustrated, drifter guys. Although he keeps his sexual orientation to himself, he soon develops a crush on a boy called Sean and begins to obsess over "his dark nipples and his torn boxers.Read more ›