- Hardcover: 300 pages
- Publisher: Kensington Publishing (27 May 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0758203284
- ISBN-13: 978-0758203281
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.1 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,852,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
All American Boy Hardcover – 27 May 2005
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About the Author
William J. Mann is the critically acclaimed author of Wisecracker: The Life and Times of William Haines, Hollywood's First Openly Gay Star, as well as The Biograph Girl and the novel The Men from the Boys. He is a contributor to Architectural Digest, The Boston Phoenix, and The Advocate. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Although Walter is ostensibly the primary focus of this novel, all the characters are well-developed and vividly portrayed - and moreover, are intensely human, with their own quirks and three-dimensional personalities. Walter's mother, for example, is a masterly creation in her own right. And that's really the point of this review - to stress that this is unquestionably not a `typical' coming of age novel; it reaches far beyond such simple categorisation. Similar in vein to the excellent works of Bart Yates and D Travers Scott, `All American Boy' is expertly crafted and multi-layered, incorporating far broader themes that apply to individuals of any sexuality: the point at which innocence is lost and it's significance; the role of family and extended families; the consequences for the future of closing one's eyes to the past.
One of the most appealing aspects of this work is that the author avoids the temptation to play god and pass moral judgment over his creations, but recognises that the subjectivity of morality mandates that the reader must be left to draw their own conclusions. This is, in part, achieved by the technique of allowing us only to view events through the eyes of the characters themselves; an admirably Nietzschian stance recognising that `reality' only exists from an individual perspective.Read more ›
I had high hopes for this book - the overview was exciting, setting the scene for a (potentially) great story and the other reviews gave high ratings.
In reality though, the book was confusing, poorly written, difficult to read (not due to content) and badly paced. The author states in his 'letter to fans' at the end of the book that it was 'a book he'd long wanted to write' - which explains the self-indulgence of the story, characters and content.
I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't actually finish the book - I was two-thirds of way though when I gave up. I didn't understand and couldn't be bothered trying to anymore. This also explains why I'm not talking specifics here with regard to the story (what story) - I just don't know what it was on about!!
Future readers - buy at your own peril.....
I have heard great things about the author and have seen very strong recommendations - on this evidence I am not sure what all the fuss is about but nevertheless a fairly good read.