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Dirty One by Michael Graves

Dirty One

by Michael Graves

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I'm not sure if the small town in this collection of short story is real or fictional, but i think the author in any case made it a gathering of an uneasiness that is common to most kids.

The age varies from eight to eighteen but almost all of them have disfunctional families and almost all of them consider sex and sexuality a way to escape a reality they didnt feel their own and that scares them. What I appreciate of these young men is that, despite all the scare and the uncertainity of the future, they are willing to give it a try, more, some of them are even willimg to be there for younger brothers or little kids for whom the world is even scarier than for them.

The parents here don't come out in a positive light, but truth be told some tried. The first one, for example, a widover father with a fading career in the movies, clearly love his sons, and he is tryimg really hard to give them a normal life, problem is that, like most of the other parents in this small town, he is even more scared of the world than his same children.

The author chose to split the different stories among various characters, but actually it felt like the experience of only one, a gay teenager living in the late 80s, when people already knew what AIDS was, yet another thing to be scared, facing the reality of being a stranger to the small town where they were living. This gay teenager is not fenced perfect lawned yards, white small houses and sunday bbqs, he is fashion and movies, glamour and sex; but most of the time he is also the kid who is left back, and alone, while all the other cool, and normal, kids leave the nest to start their wonderful independent lives in the big cities, pushed by their momma and daddy money. The Dirty One instead has to fight with teeth and claws, and if he manages to break free, he will always have a baggage of hurt. But he will be also stronger, and more ready to kick out when real life will ask its toll.

  elisa.rolle | Jan 24, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0983285101, Paperback)

Set in the 1980's, Dirty One follows a pack of adolescent characters who live in the acid-drenched, suburban town known as Leominster, Massachusetts-the plastics capital of America, as well as the birthplace of Johnny Appleseed. In the story, "From Kissing," a sixth-grader named Butch has his first homosexual tongue kiss during a monster truck show and, after a bout of the flu, he is convinced he has somehow contracted AIDS. With "Curls and Curls," nine-year-old Lee hates his kinky, brown head of hair and is seemingly possessed with magic, casting spells to unfurl his evil tresses. In "A Snow Day," eleven-year-old Cassidy longs to be the next mega-watt, teen pop star, but is forced to deal with her crazy classmates, her gay father, and her dog that continually vomits in the driveway. "Do It" follows a tween named Denise as she seeks her first sexual experience with a boyfriend who can never remain erect. Denise strives for high school greatness while her gay best friend is crowned king of all local paper routes. These selections join five more, constructing the remarkable world of Dirty One.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:14 -0400)

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