September 23, 2015

Review: The Hour Between

The Hour Between The Hour Between by Sebastian Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining, very well-written boarding school, gay coming-of-age story, which perhaps leans on too many of its reference sources too solidly. I kept wondering if I'd read the book before, so strong was my occasional sense of déjà vu. There's some Salinger in the plot, some Leavitt and Cunningham and White and Fitzgerald and Isherwood . . . and weirdly, it reminded me a lot of Lev Grossman's The Magicians without the magic. And Rowling, too! But these are not bad forbears; they should inform this novel, but perhaps not so potently.

That said, I enjoyed reading The Hour Between very much. The language is supple and clear, the characters are believable and witty, and the setting is lovely. I loved the Liza/Zelda character enough, even though the manic pixie is overplayed, as is the reticent uptight young gay, Arthur, who is the narrator/outsider, who was also likable in his own way, if familiar.

Arthur's infatuation and adventures with a classmate jock had some real heat, but the climactic sex scene was unfortunately elided.

Even after writing this, I'm still wondering if I'd read this book before! I think not, though, because I hope I would have remembered being this involved in the story.

No comments: