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Blue Boy Paperback – Bargain Price, May 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
"Blue Boy" is a sweet, captivating original story of a boy trying to make the best of a life his classmates tease him about, and to take strength from his beliefs and his parents' apprehensions about him. Alternately touching, sad and humorous, this is a coming-of-age novel of discovery and self-acceptance that anyone who has ever felt different can take to heart, and root for young Kiran as he strives to be the person he knows he can be. I give the book four finger-cymbal-clanging stars out of five.
Blue Boy is what is often called a "coming of age" story, about a boy's recognition and acceptance of his homosexuality. But this book, like the best of these, is so much more than that. Everyone who knows Satyal or works with him uses the same word to describe him: "brilliant." And this characterization is what distinguishes Blue Boy from so many similar stories. Satyal's voice is witty, sharp, somewhat cruel--the marks of a, dare I say it?--very masculine style.
Satyal has achieved what he set out to do, as explained in his Q&A at the end of the book: write a "humorous" and "playful" account of growing up Indian (Punjabi)-American in Middle America (Cincinnati). The scenes in which Kiran, the protagonist, discovers the escalating pleasures of pornographic magazines, are hilarious, speaking to everyone, of any gender or sexual orientation, who has gone through this essential rite of passage. And the payoff, a puncturing of a lyrical, misty embrace of sensuality, with an honest, coarse and pithy sentence, is, well, brilliant.
The hardest thing for a humorist to bring off is depicting serious emotion without spoiling the mood or sinking into sentimentality. Satyal manages this in an episode that truly made this reader laugh through her tears: the story of Kiran's dolls, Strawberry Shortcake and her sidekick, Blueberry Muffin. Anyone who's ever played with dolls knows there is a hierarchy. It's the acolyte, Blueberry, who meets a terrible fate, the incident made achingly poignant as Kiran acknowledges the sacrifice of the less valued one.Read more ›
Kiran is bright, artistic, a bit smug, and very lonely. When the child begins to see himself as turning blue, he rationalizes a new identity for himself.
The novel is quick reading, and both funny and agonizing. Kiran observes teens engaging in impersonal sex in the park, and this only serves to compound his uncertainty about himself. The resolution is a bit pat, but the struggle is very real as the boy works to come to terms with who he is.
The novel provides an unusual perspective on the Hindu religion as a child sees it, and insight into the life of a boy who is alone in the midst of people.
Blue Boy takes place over the span of a few months in the life of 12 year old Kiran Sharma, a 1st generation Indian boy living in Ohio who is growing up quickly and coming to terms with why he is so different from his classmates, who shun him. Kiran is a very bright, perceptive, funny character and once I was a few pages in I didn't want to stop reading. Kiran is stuck in that place between being a child and being a grown-up that I think everyone remembers as being complicated, and even painful at times. Kiran's desire for his parents' approval is sweet and sad. His only friend is his language teacher. He understands that he is different from his classmates, not only because of his skin but other, less tangible, reasons that he only starts to understand towards the middle/end of the book. This quote really struck me and sums up his loneliness perfectly: "There are so many unique qualities about me that I can't be put into one category. It reminds me of Venn diagrams, which Mrs. Nevins taught us about-those intersecting circles that represent different groups; when they overlap, the area that they both contain is something that they have in common. What happens when you are represented by so many circles that the area you take up is so minuscule no one else could possibly fit into it?"
At times the childish thought process was, for me, laugh out loud funny (or at least giggle), as when Kiran makes a list of qualities that define the Hindu god Krishna, whom he believes he is the 10th incarnation of (1.) Blue skin; 2.) Show-off; 3.) Flutist; 4.) Butter eater; 5.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kiran Sharma—the complex, precocious, brazen, stubborn, adventurous, and decidedly “different” 12 year-old Indian-American protagonist—is convinced that he is the Hindu god Krishna... Read morePublished 23 days ago by James R. Gilligan
I loved this book! A great read if you can relate or sympathize with not fitting in at all growing up, especially if you are gay,
queer, etc. And so funny :)
I liked the
Story but it was really not what I expected. It gives a good picture of what a adolescent y young man growing up in a foreign place may feel.
A hilarious, touching, imaginative story that will tickle you and ring profoundly true intermittently! I highly recommend this kind and insightful book to any an everyone!Published 9 months ago by Julien84
I generally don't use the word "brilliant" to describe books I've read. This time I would. The writing is superb, the story line well-developed, the characters dimensional... Read morePublished 10 months ago by William G. Schmidt
I read one review of this book, which in hindsight, was my first mistake. I expected a light hearted tale of a clumsy 12 year old boy trying to figure out how to fit in. Read morePublished 11 months ago by ASHLEIGH B MILLER
I loved this book. The character, a young Indian-American boy growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, is fully drawn; the plot is brisk and compelling; and the sexual coming-of-age story... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Paul C Griffin
BLUE BOY is, simply put, one of the best books I've ever read. Being a standup comic who's also a bit of a theatre dilettante, I can tell you from personal experience that it's... Read morePublished 12 months ago by funnyindian