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The Concrete Sky Paperback – May, 2003
30 Essential LGBT Books for YA Readers
AbeBooks (an Amazon Company) celebrates pride in literature with a diverse selection of LGBT fiction. Learn more on AbeBooks.com.
Imagine yourself at a party, having had a few too many and leaning out from a balcony to talk to your brother, who insists on minding your business, on the street below--and waking up, arm in a cast, in a mental hospital. A fellow patient introduces herself, solemnly intoning that she carries death, which smells like asparagus, within her privates, and a cute young guy, another patient, befriends you. How cute? So cute that the 72 hours spent under observation aren't at all bad. Well, except for the murders your new friend is accused of, but if you are going to pick every little nit . . . . In Moore's engaging, fast-moving tale, brotherly hate crosses paths with gay love on the run because the love interest is the object of police attention for his unfortunate habit of propinquity to homicide. Witty, intelligent dialogue and characters distract the reader from the darker side of a situation whose uglier tones cast a pall over a facile ending. A promising debut. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was so engrossed with the breakneck twists and turns of the plot, the deceptively dry voice of Chad, the narrator, which sizzles with witty venom, and the very sexy game of cat-and-mouse between Chad and Jonathan--the boy who may or may not be a mad killer, may or may not be the man of Chad's dreams--that I read the whole book in one sitting. If I'd done this at the beach, I would have washed out with high tide.
I don't want to go into too much detail about why I loved this book or why I think Marshall Moore is a wit so caustic and laugh-out-loud brilliant that he deserves his own cable show on Bravo (and he does!). Why not? Because I'm certain to give away the story.
And the many mysteries within The Concrete Sky are what make this book so engrossing: a surprise stay in a madhouse that leads to steamy encounters with a dangerous inmate; a stalker who's a Marine with an evil mission and a worse secret still; death by pepper flakes; a tight-lipped mother trapped in her own secrets and a double-wide trailer filled with cats and litter boxes; a gruesome death that is either the supreme act of poetic justice or derangement.
And all of it told in Moore's signature style: a low-key voice with a great eye for detail and dialogue and wit so acidic it could take flesh right off the bone.
Now the next mystery I want Marshall Moore to solve is when his next book will be coming out!
I loved the fact that these two characters find romance in, of all places, a mental institution. It is refreshing to read a book where the two gay characters find love outside of the drug-fueled bars, the parks and the bath houses. It is a testiment to Moore's creativity and accurate sense of the present, where gay men are, quite simply, everywhere, and not just found in the ghettos of metropolises. But having them meet in such a place also sets the tone for the playfull, and sometimes dark, insanity that is to come. The most delightful aspect of the book is both the classic and pop references that is brought up in the dialogue between the characters. Everything from Sartre, to the movie Heathers, to the Narnia Chronicles is nonchalantly brought up in the dialogue, which reveals the history and world that the characters were brought up in. Here's the thing about the intelligence of this novel: It's very effortless. There is never a sense that Moore is not trying to be clever. He just happens to be clever. And his acerbic and often quotable lines remind the reader that not all writers are created equally. As Ebert would say: "One very enthusiastic thumb up!!!"