From best-selling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.
Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex.
'Let me put it this way,' he says. 'Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is it's all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.'
Cole fantasises about whomever he's looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savoury reputation around school.
This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he's been after all this time...and then he meets Grisaille.
All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where queer can be as fluid as consent, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like.
With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world.
'There are love stories galore,' Cole tells us. 'This isn't that. The story I'm typing is all the dirty parts.'
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This book stops at nothing, in a good way
- Lilly-Marie Lamarl