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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White's trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy's Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The audiobook's unnamed narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him to seek out works of art and literature as solace-and to uncover new relationships in the struggle to embrace his own sexuality. Lyrical and poignant, with powerful evocations of shame and yearning, this is an American literary treasure.

©1997 Edmund White (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • 07-06-2018

I am not the right audience

I can see why this book is beloved, especially by the LGBTQIA community. I believe that Edmund White broke through some concrete walls with this story. Unfortunately it made me very uncomfortable -- not because it was LGBTQIA, but because it was a bit too explicit for me. I don't really enjoy sex scenes that are so vividly described -- straight or gay.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bosco
  • 03-06-2018

Excellent Book, Mediocre Narration

White's writing is impeccable, and despite the erudite package, the story really moves. Unfortunately, the narration was wrong. Listening to an older man read the book just seemed very wrong. I would suggest a much younger voice. Backman's voice wasn't ideal at the best of times, but there were times when he sounded like an old man imitating a toddler.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • James Vickers
  • 05-03-2018

Alright Book Killed By Terrible Narrator

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I think this book would be more thoroughly enjoyed with a different narrator or read on its own.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

It's unfortunate that George Backman continues as narrator for the other titles in this trilogy. I think there is some great prose, constructing an otherwise okay plot but is completely ruined by the performance of the narrator.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • alex
  • 17-08-2015

awful

I have no idea who George backman is but he is rubbish at reading

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Hugh M. Clarke
  • 07-09-2017

More Than Meets The Eye

Written from the perspective of a developing adolescent, this is a very sharp and entertaining book. Lots of humour and a skilful use of language with an astute portrayal of masculinity. George Backman reads well, catching the uncertain tone of the key character. Deserves a wide audience.

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  • Tom
  • 04-04-2017

Good Book, Poor Performance

Where does A Boy's Own Story rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's got probably the worst performance of all the audiobooks I've listened to.

Would you be willing to try another book from Edmund White? Why or why not?

Yes, if it has a different narrator.

Would you be willing to try another one of George Backman’s performances?

No.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Difficult to say, considering the performance was so off.

Any additional comments?

George Blackman read as if the narrator was a wheezy and overly camp kid. This is true to an extent of what Edmend White was portraying. But the story is also supposed to be funny. If you listen to Edmund White read extracts from the novel, you can see he plays it for laughs, especially some of the sex scenes. However George Blackman doesn't convey this humour. Instead from his performance everything seems to feed back into the main protagonist's insecurity and overt sensitivity. This way of reading makes the main character sound like a caricature of a young gay teen instead of the actual well-rounded character, which is what you get when you read the book.