Throwback Thursday Review: Boys of Life by Paul Russell


Boys of Life by Paul Russell
Re-release Date: March 9, 2016 (originally released in 1992)
Publisher: Cleis Press
Pages: 319
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



Discover a compelling novel of innocence, betrayal, redemption and revenge in this re-publishing of Boys of Life. Tony is a young country boy with big dreams who’s utterly bored with the tedium of Kentucky life. So it’s no wonder he’s seduced by the smooth-talking Carlos Reichart, who convinces the young man to run away with him to New York and become his live-in lover and the star of a series of homoerotic films. But when the films start becoming increasingly violent, and Carlos forces him to recruit runaway boys to also appear in the sadomasochistic films, Tony realizes he must escape Carlos’ clutches before he winds up dead — or worse.


Review: This book, wow this book, I don’t know how to begin. Ok, I know, this is a M/M book, for any readers out there that enjoys some man lovin’. However, I need to warn the readers that this book is… it leaves me without words. It stayed with me, and I keep thinking about it. It left me sad, but it made me feel something, and that in my opinion is the mark of a good book.

The author deals with uncomfortable topics but nothing is in your face, this is just too much. The reader will carry around this book in their head for a long time.

I knew when I read the blurb that this would be a difficult read, and it was. Have any of the readers out there saw Boogie Nights? This book has a lot of Boogie Nights themes in them. I wanted to have something that the reader could connect with, without giving away the story.

This book is not for everyone. It’s dark, and dangerous, and there is no happy endings. It’s powerful (for a lack of a better word), it’s edgy, it’s sad. This book touches on a lot of sensitive subjects, but the author does so with compassion, and empathy.

Carlos, I didn’t like him when I was first introduced to him in the beginning, and I just couldn’t like him. He was scary, and quite not right in the head.  Tony, I felt sorry for him. He was young and impressionable, and was seduced by Carlos and traveled down a dark road with him.

This book was wonderfully written, and the author knows how to tell a story so that the reader is hanging off the edge of their seats.  This book will not appeal to everyone. I’m more of a happily go off together and live a wonderful life kind of book reader, but variety is the spice of life. I have to admit that the book gripped me by the throat and kept me there, entertained.