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What the Dead Remember by Harlan Greene

What the Dead Remember

by Harlan Greene

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Seriously overwritten: John Boy Walton writing in the style of Andrew Holleran, perhaps, if you can imagine that. If you can get beyond all the Creative Writing, there might be a decent novel in there somewhere, but whenever you're starting to like it he chucks in an unnecessary simile and you feel like giving up all over again... ( )
  thorold | Jan 29, 2011 |
The narrator at the age of thirteen spends the summer with his aunt and uncle in Charleston. Overweight and by nature withdrawn, he makes friends with Stevie a retarded local boy. But he is secretly fascinated by men in underwear. Eventually a group of local lads who are always on the beach and initially ignore him accept him into their circle, and initiate him in the delights of boy love.
Latter the narrator returns to Charleston as a man and takes up again with Stevie and becomes his carer of sorts. He also finds a lover, but there are surprising connections with the young boys he befriended on his previous visit and some nasty shocks in store too.
An honest, at times very sad, at others heart-warming, coming of age story, strangely coy at times, but well written creating an almost haunting atmosphere; worth reading. I would add thought that in retrospect I find the ultimate fate of the narrator, and more particularly how it is sealed, very disturbing. Perhaps that is why I generally avoid AIDS themed stories.

. ( )
  Bembo | Oct 6, 2006 |
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Greene's poignant new novel of the South takes its reader through the life of an unnamed narrator over a period of successive summers spent in Charleston, South Carolina. An unsettling, totally moving portrait of a man trying to grow up and come to terms with his sexual identity in often overwhelming circumstances.
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