- November 22, 2011
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
I like books that you want to read all in one sitting, like a particularly good meal. I like books with lots of visual cues for you to mentally direct as a TV blockbuster whilst digesting. I like books that make you laugh out loud unexpectedly. Pretty Boys All in A Row by Andrew Kay was all these books.
A coming of age / rites of passage crammed into 7 fun-filled, eye-opening days, Phillip, the central character is an unassuming young gay guy sent by a friendly female benefactor on a solo holiday to Ibiza. Initially he seems like a blank canvas, but grows in depth and experiences, as the book races along, until he and the narrator’s voice seem as one. The narration is splendid, slapstick in parts and cruelly humorous at others, but very much generous hearted, like the other key character, Terry. Terry, an ageing wealthy man whose generosity is larger than his sense of self worth, takes Phillip under his wing, and their relationship provides the beating heart of the book. Terry shows Phillip that it’s fine to experience life to the full, whilst Phillip shows Terry not to let less scrupulous characters take advantage of him, and prompts a big boost to Terry’s sartorial self-esteem.
Other characters such as the hugely capable housekeeper, Maria (all the Spanish women are called Maria in the book, which made me laugh every time they muttered under their breath in a Spanish dialect!) are priceless.
Now to the sex part! There were lashings of promiscuous gay sex amid tender moments, in the book and I was actually shocked! But the kind of shock where you find out your parents are doing it (not the promiscuous gay sex but you know what I mean). It shouldn’t be shocking at all and those that are will get over it!
And lastly the food part! There are lashings of great meals in the book, lovingly described, and among the opulent and splashy, flashy holiday settings, and great 80s music, it’s a real wish you were here find.
Can’t wait for the prequel of Terry’s life and sequels of Phillip’s journey.