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Box Hill : a story of low self-esteem

by Mars-Jones, Adam, 1954-

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: On Order 7 copies
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InBox Hill, a vivid coming-of-age novel, a young man suddenly wakes up to his gay self--on his eighteenth birthday, when he receives the best gift ever: love and sex. In the woodsy cruising grounds ofBox Hill, chubby Colin literally stumbles over glamorous Ray--ten years older, leather-clad, cool, handsome, a biker, and a top. (Colin, if largely unformed, is nevertheless decidedly a bottom.) Colin narrates his love--conveying how mind-blowing being with Ray is--in comically humble-pie terms. "If there are leaders then there must be followers, and I had followership skills in plenty just waiting to be tapped. To this day I can't see a fat kid in shorts without wanting to rush over and give him what comfort I can. To tell him it won't always be like this."
Mars-Jones uses Colin's naivete to give a fresh view of the world and of love. Before long, however, homophobia, class, family strife, and loss rear their ugly heads. Yet in the end, it seems Colin's modest view oddly takes in the widest horizon: he learns that "people can care about anything." A surprise and a pleasure,Box Hill is an intensely moving short novel.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Power dynamics are the central theme in this short, bittersweet story of a young man's sexual awakening, by Mars-Jones (Cedilla). On his 18th birthday in 1975, Colin Smith ventures to Box Hill, a tree-lined cliff in Surrey commonly frequented by motorcyclists. Desperate to one day have his own bike as well as growing emboldened to explore his sexuality, Colin is drawn to the bikers as much as the bikes. While hiking through an overgrown area, he trips over Ray, a handsome, leather-clad biker napping against a tree. The moment kick-starts a six-year relationship between the two men, defined by Colin's submission to Ray--who tells people "Colin didn't fall for me, he fell over me"--who introduces Colin to the world of biking, poker, and sexual exploration. Colin describes Ray as a sum of contradictions--rugged and dismissive, but also socially aware, and he allows Ray to mistreat him after he moves into Ray's apartment, remaining emotionally attached despite Ray's cruelty, such as forcing Colin out of the apartment every morning at nine a.m. Near the end of his relationship with Ray, Colin goes on holiday with his family, a decision he deeply regrets. Mars-Jones colors Colin's tender reminiscences with humor, sex, and tragedy. This is an indelible snapshot of 1970s English gay biker culture. (Sept.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Gay men -- Fiction.
Interpersonal relations -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :2020
Edition First New Directions edition.
Language English
Notes "A New Directions Paperbook original."
Description 114 pages ; 20 cm
ISBN 9780811230056
Other Classic View