Fruit: A Novel about a Boy and His Nipples




Author: Brian Francis
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2004
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 278
Isbn10 Code: 1931561761
Isbn13 Code: 9781554906208


From Publishers Weekly Thirteen-year-old Peter Paddington suffers through a year of eighth grade in this entertaining debut novel, set in Sarnia, Canada, in 1984. In some ways Peter is an average awkward teenager—hair sprouting in unexpected places, a lack of friends, curiosity about religion. But in other ways he's different—he weighs 204 pounds, and swollen nipples ("two small cherries") have just surfaced on his doughy chest. Soon these nipples take on a life of their own, actually speaking to Peter and giving him unsolicited advice. A vividly drawn dysfunctional family fills out the novel's landscape; most of this dysfunction revolves around food and weight and Peter's menopausal, smothering mother, Beth. Peter's long-suffering father, Henry, works a factory job in Chemical Valley, his thin sister Christine does her best not to associate with her family, his sister Nancy dumps her fat boyfriend to discover her "new" self, and his Uncle Ed is an overweight, closeted homosexual. The fluid, lively narrative is punctuated with a series of "Bedtime Movies," fantasies in which Peter is loved, popular and famous, propelled out of his fat, sad existence. Despite its fantastical twists, the novel hews closely to familiar coming-of-age formulas, but its hapless narrator is a winning hero. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From "How was I going to make it without anyone finding out my terrible secret?" Peter knows there are plenty of things wrong with his body. He is planning to start his diet any day so that he will be thin and normal by high school. But it's his deformed nipples, suddenly big and swollen as two cherries, that really scare him. He tries to strap them down. He even goes Catholic for a while and prays to the Virgin in his closet to shrink them--and to make the most gorgeous guy in his class give him a call. The time is 1984, but the dream of being "normal" is universal. Both hilarious and gentle, the young teen's voice is pitch-perfect, capturing not only his self-obsession and bedtime fantasies about being Brooke Shields in a shiny pink dress but also his family problems and his generous friendship with the foul-mouthed girl across the street. Without a didactic word, this first novel tells a funny, honest gay coming-of-age story about a boy who finally confronts his secret self. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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