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Allan Stein (1999)

Allan Stein (1999)

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3.76 of 5 Votes: 2
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0802136621 (ISBN13: 9780802136626)
grove press

About book Allan Stein (1999)

An epheboph This book was so close to being an utter bore that I thought about putting it down for good on a few occasions. Its style lacks the range for its intended atmospherics effects, creating vast blocks of run-on paragraphs with repetitive diction and sentences that are confusing, if not poorly constructed at times. The Allen Stein subplot stretches out an already over-indulgent "Lolita" clone filled with irritating Parisian socialites in the cynical nihilism so commonly overused in contemporary fiction.However, I stand by my rating, this book is worth reading. What is lacks in substance its makes up for in risk, its ephebophilic narrator storming out of the gate with an unstoppable momentum that carries beyond the end of the book. There is no shame, not even any overt criticism, but more of a flippancy in its examination of a grown man's relationship with a sixteen year old boy, a relationship that, due on going scandals, can finally be talked about openly in an historical and ongoing context. The novel's illustrative properties are invaluable creating character's lost in the gray areas of perspective, ambiguity, and chemical attraction. There are very few ironic narrators as strong as Stadler's and what he lacks in descriptive, emotional, scenery he makes up for in the creation of characters who are truly alive.

Allan Stein is one of the most profoundly difficult novels to approach as a reader or reviewer. The primary theme, that a gay man in early middle-age who is a teacher is attracted to boys in their mid teens, is certainly going to disturb many people and the novel is thus often described as a "gay retelling of Lolita". There's a lot that can be said on that front alone, but the foremost thing to note is that this is fiction: the topic of inter-generational love and sex should not be seen as the a

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The author is an EXCELLENT writer. There is no question about that! I think what is missing here is the flow. It's not a book where you finish each chapter and you have to 'keep reading'. You can set it on a table...and quite possibly wait a year to pick it up again. The story is relatively simple--with a few eyebrow raisers here & there. The writers' writing is the only thing that captures the reader (me). I'd highly recommend this author read the book, THE HOURS by Michael Cunningham or MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA or THE NOTORIOUS DR. AUGUST...then, you'll read a story that 'flows'.
—Michael Armijo

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