This review reprinted from our Spring 1985 magazine
Written By: Edmund White
Publisher: Picador (14 Mar. 1986)
After coming to term with the author’s rather ornate writing style, the main problem for the reader is trying to work out whether the tale is being told in hindsight, or are the current thoughts of a rather precocious youth. A pity because apart from this, possibly deliberate, ambiguity the characters are very well imagined.
White can actually tell a story, there is a very long paragraph towards the end where he rounds up the subplots in a very sharp and funny way, the humour is quite zany in this part.
Plough through this book, you will enjoy it for the incidental charms, the central character is just a piece too precious for local tastes. And the writing is too overripe for a genuine masterpiece.