In his electrifying novel, adolescent gay love, violence, and the spirituality of old-time religion are combined through the alchemy of Grimsley's vision into a powerfully suspenseful story of escape and redemption. This is the first time in a long time that I've had to actually stop a book before I've finished, so I'm not even sure why I'm putting this review up here, but mostly to clear up some things that I feel are important. I tried very hard to just keep charging through the book until it was done, but this book was just that bad. I don't understand how this won an award at all. First of all, everything about this novel is repetitive and boring.
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Read more Read less. Kindle Cloud Reader Read instantly in your browser. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Comfort and Joy. Jim Grimsley. Winter Birds. Find Me: A Novel. What other items do customers buy after viewing this item? Garth Greenwell. Register a free business account. From Publishers Weekly With this heartbreaking story of first love, Grimsley, recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize for his first novel, Winter Birds, has crafted another potential award winner.
Here he works that novel's theme? Nathan, a sophomore and the only child of an abusive, scripture-quoting, booze-guzzling father and a nearly invisible mother, becomes smitten with Roy, a senior who lives next door.
Almost without realizing it and with some reluctance on both sides , they begin an achingly tender romance. Ultimately, peer pressure leads to tragedy, and to a sort of metaphysical denouement that may strike some readers as over-the-top.
But by that time, Grimsley's scenario has become so poignant and credible that the ending seems almost inevitable. He clearly understands the pain and confusion of budding love, and his present-tense narrative adds urgency and a touching immediacy to his tale. Without ever succumbing to cliche, Grimsley cuts with surgical precision to the heart of these characters' inchoate longings and barely repressed fears.
Deceptively simple descriptive passages are hauntingly elegiac, and things left unsaid become as important as words expressed: these players' silences speak volumes. Romantic passion, violence and ultimate liberation coalesce in this singular display of literary craftsmanship.
Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc. For collections desirous of a "problem" coming-of-age story with a gay theme, this might be a good bet. Psychologically, what draws Nathan to Roy, the older-boy-baseball-star-with-a-girlfriend, makes sense; but, sexual orientation aside, Roy's interest in Nathan makes much less sense?
Whatever it is, the treatment is too perfunctory. Similarly, settings can tend toward the formulaic farm pond flanked by overgrown cemetery? Still, this interesting effort will undoubtedly collect some rave reviews and therefore deserves consideration.? Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. From Booklist Nathan moves with mother and father to a farm. Roy lives next door with his mother and father. Slightly younger than Roy, Nathan is bookish and slight, whereas Roy is outgoing, popular, and a real farm boy.
Nathan falls in love with Roy, and Roy falls in love with Nathan. They have sex. Meanwhile, Nathan's alcoholic father has sexually abused Nathan; Nathan's mother sighs about it all but seems helpless to do anything. Nathan starts sleeping in the woods and Roy's barn but eats at home when his father isn't there as his mother watches and says little.
Nathan, Roy, and two of Roy's friends start swimming together, then go hiking to a place where there's an abandoned house, where malice in the interactions among them leads to Nathan's being raped. Wimsley tells this story as if it were a dream: the diction, pacing, and details all have a distant, almost fuzzy quality. This very unusual novel is a truly unique addition to gay literature.
Charles Harmon. He lives in Atlanta and teaches at Emory University. Read more. Start reading Dream Boy on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Customer reviews. How does Amazon calculate star ratings? The model takes into account factors including the age of a rating, whether the ratings are from verified purchasers, and factors that establish reviewer trustworthiness.
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I remember seeing the movie based on this book a few years ago. Abusive alcoholic father and weak Jesus-loving mom, the perfect parents for Nathan. Just shy of pages helps the story move along, but I still felt like I missed a connection. After seeing the movie, and suspecting the book would have a different ending I got this book But with its topic can be called, disturbing any way you look at it.
The book ending was in fact different from the film. Its a toss up what one is better. However like most Grimsley books it leaves you contemplating alternatives long after the book ends.
Two books for the price on one - and all in pages, no less. The first half a beautiful coming-of-age love story, with writing so sensitive and evocative that I lingered on every word. The second half something else entirely. I can't even get my mind around it. In the first half, I looked forward to every evolution - positive or negative - in the relationship between Rod and Nathan. Then, all of a sudden, the whole context changed. I'm not saying this couldn't happen in real life, but it seemed totally unrelated to the direction the plot was taking.
Maybe the author did this on purpose - to jar the reader into a sense of reality that bad things can happen to good people? Perhaps I should admit to being baffled by the second half. What really was going on?
What was the motivation of the young guy who did a number on Nathan? His character was not developed to the point where one could make sense of what he did.
And did Nathan survive - or just come back to life in his or someone else's dreams? Dream Boy - maybe that's the answer? But there's usually a context for the mysterious ending. In this case, it seems as though the author took a hatchet to the book, sundering it into two unrelated pieces. Take your pick. Two ratings: 5 stars for the first half; no stars for the second. A great work of love, abuse, and loss told by a master craftsman.
I found myself hoping for a happy ending in this beautifully told story of an invisible boy, lost in a small town world of neglect, abuse and hatred. He is first befriended, then loved and protected by a most unlikely character.
However, even his most beloved can not ultimately defend him from the evil that pervades the town in which he is trapped. But it is the end of the story is the most uplifting part of the story because it is left to the reader's mind, and heart.
There are clues as to the ultimate resolution of Dream Boy. And it is that which gives hope. There is a beautiful movie version of this book with a slightly altered ending and this too leaves a glimmer of hope.
I think some readers missed the disguised and profound ending in both the book and the film. The author leaves the real ending up to your interpretation. And, even in the worst scenario, our Dream Boy finds peace. Nathan has had to move many times because his god-fearing father, Harland, is an alcoholic child molester. Their new house is a farmhouse and it's near The Connelly's. Roy Connelly is a senior at Nathan's high school where Nathan is a freshman. However Nathan is very smart and he takes several courses with juniors.
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An overwrought account of first gay love, from the North Carolinian playwright and novelist Winter Birds, , whose ornately lyrical style requires a firmer foundation than is provided by his perilously shapeless plot. Bookworm Nathan, a high-school sophomore, is as lonely as he is bright. The only child of a prodigiously disturbed southern family, he's subjected to unremitting emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of his drunkard father while his morbidly religious mother looks passively on. As the perennial new kid in townNathan's father is a salesman, the family moves around a lot Nathan is used to having few friends, and it is at first his solitude as much as his teenage libido that responds to Roy Connelly, the boy next door who takes Nathan under his wing and introduces him to his classmates at school. Although Roy is two years ahead of Nathan, Nathan becomes Roy's tutor andalmost simultaneouslyhis lover. The brutality of Nathan's family life makes his need for some kind of physical or emotional escape patently clear from the start, but Roy is more of an enigma: He's a seemingly well-adjusted heterosexual with a normal family and a girlfriend, so it's not at all clear what brings him into the younger boy's ken, and this want of motive makes him appear all the more mysterious and ethereal in Nathan's eyes. This ethereality moves beyond the realm of metaphor toward the story's close, however, when the familiar tragedy of star-crossed lovers is surmounted by a magical-realist climax that comes out of nowhere and is yoked by violence onto a plot that seems unsuited for it.
Dream Boy is a novel by Jim Grimsley. Nathan is an intelligent but shy teenage boy who wants to escape from his abusive and violent father, and fantasizes about a relationship with Roy, the boy who lives next door. Roy is a senior at the same high school as Nathan, and he drives the school bus. Gradually their relationship deepens and becomes sexual. Drunk one evening, Nathan's father tries to molest him. This is clearly not the first time it has happened and helps explain Nathan's desire to escape from his family.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? In his electrifying novel, adolescent gay love, violence, and the spirituality of old-time religion are combined through the alchemy of Grimsley's vision into a powerfully suspenseful story of escape and redemption.