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At the age of eight Brian Lackey is found bleeding under the crawl space of his house, having endured something so traumatic that he cannot remember an entire five–hour period of time.

During the following years he slowly recalls details from that night, but these fragments are not enough to explain what happened to him, and he begins to believe that he may have been the victim of an alien encounter. Neil McCormick is fully aware of the events from that summer of 1981. Wise beyond his years, curious about his developing sexuality, Neil found what he perceived to be love and guidance from his baseball coach. Now, ten years later, he is a teenage hustler, a terrorist of sorts, unaware of the dangerous path his life is taking. His recklessness is governed by idealized memories of his coach, memories that unexpectedly change when Brian comes to Neil for help and, ultimately, the truth.

Topics: New York City, Abuse, Sexual Abuse, LGBTQ, Prostitution, Coming of Age, Trauma, Drugs, Sexuality, Dark, Erotic, Bildungsroman, and Debut

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061737190
List price: $7.99
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Enthralling read. Initially I was going to throw it down in disgust as I wasn't quite sure what I was reading. However, I'm glad I gave it more reading time as it didn't go where I thought it was going ie, down the titillating, child porn, abuse route. It didn't and it was much much more.This was an uncomfortable, and sometimes darn-right sickening view into the characters lives and how the 2 abused characters came to terms with their individual experiences of abuse. I genuinely felt for the damaged personalities, even the so called 'bad boy'. I can't help believe that the author must be writing from experience or he has done some rather in depth research as it is all too realistic IMHO. OK, so what's UFO's got to do with it ... well all I'll say is I had 'a friend', no honestly, who had a 'loosely' similar experience so I really do 'get' this. You'll just have to read it to see if you do too. My friend? She's fine as far as I know but we lost touch a few years ago but I know it wasn't until, very like the story, 15 years before she realised the truth. It will most definitely not be a book for everyone as it has child sexual abuse, homosexuality with explicit sex content.more
i thought the movie was better than the book - mostly due to the lead actor but whatev.i like the roaming point of view. heim does very well in his debut. i liked in awe more than this book. if you're interested in a similar topic, read that book also!more
Very well written with compelling characters and a fantastic sense of place. The end feels both perfect and not enough--after all that these characters have gone through, I kind of want to see how they go on, not just get a striking image of partial resolution.more
This is probably one of my favorite books. It takes a very disturbing topic - child molestation - and weaves a very intriguing narrative around it. It deals with two boys who were both molested by the same man, their baseball coach, and shows how each deal with it. Neil seems to have been desensitized to sex altogether, while Brian loses his memory and is obsessed with the theory that he was abducted by aliens. Brian begins to remember things, and Neil begins to feel again, with the help of their friends. Eventually, of course, the two narrators must meet and come to terms with their shared encounter with their coach.Overall, I really enjoyed the book, although it was a bit morbid at times. I highly recommend it, and I also recommend the movie, which I actually saw first. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an excellent Neil.more
Read all 13 reviews

Reviews

Enthralling read. Initially I was going to throw it down in disgust as I wasn't quite sure what I was reading. However, I'm glad I gave it more reading time as it didn't go where I thought it was going ie, down the titillating, child porn, abuse route. It didn't and it was much much more.This was an uncomfortable, and sometimes darn-right sickening view into the characters lives and how the 2 abused characters came to terms with their individual experiences of abuse. I genuinely felt for the damaged personalities, even the so called 'bad boy'. I can't help believe that the author must be writing from experience or he has done some rather in depth research as it is all too realistic IMHO. OK, so what's UFO's got to do with it ... well all I'll say is I had 'a friend', no honestly, who had a 'loosely' similar experience so I really do 'get' this. You'll just have to read it to see if you do too. My friend? She's fine as far as I know but we lost touch a few years ago but I know it wasn't until, very like the story, 15 years before she realised the truth. It will most definitely not be a book for everyone as it has child sexual abuse, homosexuality with explicit sex content.more
i thought the movie was better than the book - mostly due to the lead actor but whatev.i like the roaming point of view. heim does very well in his debut. i liked in awe more than this book. if you're interested in a similar topic, read that book also!more
Very well written with compelling characters and a fantastic sense of place. The end feels both perfect and not enough--after all that these characters have gone through, I kind of want to see how they go on, not just get a striking image of partial resolution.more
This is probably one of my favorite books. It takes a very disturbing topic - child molestation - and weaves a very intriguing narrative around it. It deals with two boys who were both molested by the same man, their baseball coach, and shows how each deal with it. Neil seems to have been desensitized to sex altogether, while Brian loses his memory and is obsessed with the theory that he was abducted by aliens. Brian begins to remember things, and Neil begins to feel again, with the help of their friends. Eventually, of course, the two narrators must meet and come to terms with their shared encounter with their coach.Overall, I really enjoyed the book, although it was a bit morbid at times. I highly recommend it, and I also recommend the movie, which I actually saw first. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays an excellent Neil.more
Two eight year old boys are molested by their Little League baseball coach and take different paths to discover the truth.Neil becomes a teenage gay hustler with a taste for older men. He has few friends and fewer confidants. Brian 'loses' any trace of what happened with the coach and believes he was a victim of a UFO abduction. They seem to be on an eventual collision course in search of the truth.Brian uncovers the true events on that terrible day long ago and Neil's participation. Neil discovers that maybe sex with the coach was not quite the idealized, romantic encounters that he remembers. Both young men seem to be at a crucial point in their lives. How can they reconcile what happened so long ago and how it affects their current attitudes towards friends and love.The graphic subject matter is not for the easily disturbed. Graphic sex, language and violent situations occur throughout the story. But they are not meant to shock, but simply to allow us to experience as close as possible these events in both boys lives. Mr Heim does a masterful job. Both sides of the story are told with equal import. Neither seems sensationalized.Unfortunately, the subject matter may limit the audience to read this book. I found it cathartic, a triumph of the human spirit in spite of some terrible events. The end comes too soon. I want to see both these young men move forward with their lives having finally put the past behind them.more
The story of two boys who share a common experience as children. They grow up in very different ways but both were incredibly affected by that experience.more
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