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The Vast Fields of Ordinary Hardcover – May 14, 2009
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"A fascinating and dreamy first novel.'"
--New York Times
"...a refreshingly honest, sometimes funny, and often tender novel."
--School Library Journal, starred review
"Burd breathes new life into the old coming-out formula...One of the best in a new generation of LGBTQ novels, it can stand alongside Peter Cameron's and Brian Sloan's."
--Kirkus, starred review
“Nick Burd's The Vast Fields of Ordinary is bold. Engaging. Heartbreaking. A book worthy of attention.”
"The Vast Fields of Ordinary is a wonderfully engaging and satisfying book about all kinds of growing: growing up, growing together, growing apart. Dade Hamilton and his family and friends (and enemies) are all vividly and complexly imagined and realized, and I loved spending time with them. Nick Burd's extremely accomplished and beautifully detailed prose reanimates the usually moribund American suburban wasteland, like an alchemist, he finds the wonder in the ordinary."
--Peter Cameron, author of SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU
"Nick Burd's debut novel unfolds like the summer vacation it chronicles: in the beginning the vista seems limitless, but as the pages turn and the days pass the plot thickens and the end comes way before you're ready to put it down. This is a mysterious, funny, wise, generous story, and its main character is someone you need to know, and you'll never forget."
--Dale Peck, author of MARTING & JOHN and SPROUT
"Who can resist a kid who survives his senior year of high school despite having been given the nickname Vagisil? Not I... Dade Hamilton's coming-of-age tale with a Midwest twist is devastatingly real, but it's also funny, touching, and ultimately quite hopeful."
--T Cooper, author of LIPSHITZ SIX, OR TWO ANGRY
"A brilliant account of alienation and angst in the heartland."
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Top Customer Reviews
A bright for spot for Dade is when he meets the neighbors niece who is staying for the summer. She is the first person who really pushes Dade to be himself and shows him he is actually a pretty great guy. I would hate to see this book get tagged as only a gay "coming out" book. It's a great read and comes a cross as one point of view of the thousands of teens out there who are just trying to figure out who they are, dealing with what life throws at them and wondering what life has in store for them.
Moderately sexual explicit scenes a long with drinking and drug use make this book appropriate for high school and above.
While the book is timely for Dade's own generation it has ramifications for older generations as well. Being gay in America is still fraught with complications on many levels and those who think that recent easing of the public view of homosexuality makes life better, need to be reminded (as the author does for the reader) of the troubling internal and external aspects of leading a double life.
Although Dade comes out to his parents and friends without too much repercussion, Burd deftly explores Dade's relationship with Alex, his main love, and Pablo, his sometime companion. The Jenny Moore character serves as an unnecessary diversion to an otherwise brilliant narrative, but Dade's gay friendships are wonderfully presented and carry a good deal of literary weight. "The Vast Fields of Ordinary" is a compelling first novel by Nick Burd....I hope we read more from him.
Anyway, this is such a wonderful book. Now one of my favorites.
It's a book about relationships, and some of them are gay. It's a book about the transition to adulthood, but far from being preachy, it zips by because you must, you HAVE to, find out what is going to __happen__ next.
With complex, well-drawn characters and many of them, it reminds me a lot of David Copperfield; in fact Pablo reminds me very much of Steerforth. He's not all bad but there is good reason to hate him.
An "issue" book that transcends the issues and will, I think, stand the test of time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best young adult LGBT novels I have read. I really found myself loving the main character and his internal dialogue, and I devoured the book in a day - couldn't put it... Read morePublished 4 days ago by CFPIV90
On the surface, this is an average book that is good but not bad. However, when i read this as a Gay, lonely 14 year old who just wanted a boyfriend... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Austin
Really enjoyed the voice and the varying levels of the different queer teens' comfort in their own sexuality; so much of this book felt really true to life, and Dade and Alex had... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dahlia Adler
I checked this The Vast Fields of Ordinary at least 10 times in my library quiet literally. So i decided that i wanted to buy my own copy so that i could read it over and over... Read morePublished 6 months ago by InuYoukai
I liked this book hence the high rating I chose. It is about a boy who experienced different things the final summer before starting college. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Carlos Jr
I have read quite a number of coming-of-age novels in my life, but I think that this one has to take the cake for really the most captivating as well as, and BY FAR, the most... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Earthwarrior
If someone beats me to writing a screenplay of this book you had better cast me as Dade. This book might as well be my autobiography, but besides that, it is excellently written. Read morePublished 10 months ago by B. Marchand
A surprisingly good story. An incredibly fast read that left me happy, sad, satisfied yet wanting for more. What a great feeling.Published 11 months ago by mchicago