Cover image for Boys : stories and a novella
Title:
Boys : stories and a novella
Author:
Lloyd, David T., 1954-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
ix, 178 pages ; 20 cm
Language:
English
Subject Term:
Electronic Access:
Table of contents http://www.loc.gov/catdir/toc/ecip0410/2003023083.html
ISBN:
9780815607977
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The narrator of the novella, Boys, is a thirteen-year-old Chris, a member of a small gang that includes his two friends, Frank and Joey. The novella poignantly charts Chris's involvement with a girl named Lisa, his fascination with a pornographic magazine, the building of a boys only tree house, his traumatized relationships with Frank and Joey, and the disappearance of his sister Jenny. The twelve stories in On Monday proceed chronologically from a Monday to a Tuesday morning. Each story highlights a different character's experiences with parents, friends, teachers, the expectations of others and the expectations of a culture and an era. Characters and settings present in one story reappear in other stories, building upon and heightening the experiences of all of them. In part, an indictment of how American society shapes and misshapes its children. Boys also celebrates the creativity and wonder that are a part of adolescence.


Author Notes

David Lloyd is director of the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The first time I saw someone get kicked in the face was by the steps leading to the front doors of my school, says 13-year-old Chris, narrator of the novella Boys Only, which appears, along with 12 additional stories, in this fiction collection that bears witness to the brutalities and discoveries of adolescence. Set in 1960s upstate New York, the novella follows Chris through the unsettling limbo of early adolescence, in which he constructs boys-only tree houses yet has also discovered porn as well as a maturing view of his own family. The 12 stories that make up On Monday focus on different characters during a 24-hour period at a high school. Lloyd often writes with a teen's precise detachment, and his shifting perspectives, including some adult viewpoints, reexamine traditional school roles of bully, victim, eccentric, jock, and the slow one. Sharply observed, these are stories filled with scenes both mundane and shocking that capture those strange, private moments of shame, fear, pride, and creativity--moments that become the secrets we rarely tell. A memorable debut. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Lloyd captures the simultaneously singular and universal conflicts in the lives of adolescent boys in a collection of stories set in upstate New York in 1966. In spare, direct prose, Lloyd depicts scenes that frequently skirt the edge of danger, both social and physical. In "No Boundaries," a smaller boy must face an athletic older rival in a seemingly innocent game of dodge ball ("I had become one of those flies you can't swat no matter how fast you swing your hand"). "Spider" follows a similar thread, pitting a star high school wrestler against a talented but lackadaisical teammate in a practice match that turns violent. In "Shortcut," "Touch" and "Stain," Lloyd economically but poignantly explores the ramifications of a class bully's behavior for a teacher, the victim and the vice principal. Lloyd lightens up for a bit, anyway in "As Always, Jason," in which a boy passes informational notes to his classmates ("Actaeon was torn to pieces by his own dogs"; "The Manx cat has no tail") for his own private reasons. Lloyd's novella, "Boys Only," tracks 13-year-old Chris as he tries to come to grips with his first love, the shifting dynamic of the three-boy gang he belongs to and the changes in his teenage sister as she begins dating. The novella, which lacks the stories' sharp, close focus on a single situation, is less successful, as Lloyd doesn't always sufficiently connect the narrative dots. But these quiet, sometimes chilling stories remind us of childhood's unique travails and prove Lloyd to be a writer with unique insight into that world. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
On Monday
Shortcutp. 3
Touchp. 11
Stainp. 18
As Always, Jasonp. 26
Voodoop. 33
No Boundariesp. 40
Isaac and Abrahamp. 46
Taking Aimp. 56
Portraitsp. 61
The Biggestp. 70
Spiderp. 78
Snowp. 85
Boys Onlyp. 93