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Subject: Re: Young readers

david brien
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Date Posted: Tue, Sep 06 2005, 20:36:42 GMT
In reply to: Frankie 's message, "Young readers" on Tue, Aug 16 2005, 21:00:58 GMT

This is very unusual for me. I live in the USA, and I have managed to travel a bit, and I think I have a minor understanding of how the rest of the world views us. We are idiots, we are crass, we are not refined.

I had the great fortune of growing up in New Orleans. It was f'ing fantastic. I love the place. I love the filth and garbage and even the corruption. I did move away; I went to Boston U., and sometimes I wish I hadn't. I'm 23, and my boyfriend is 19, and I haven't heard from him since. But he's a major asshole, so I'm sure he'll live on if only to make my life miserable. He's a little wild.

I had to force him to read ASTB, but once I did he said he understood how I look upon him. Saying this belittles the book, but what he got out of it was that I'm the smart guy who makes the bucks and he's the bad boy... who's antic challenge me. Ideal? I don't know. I like it. And that makes me think sometimes I'm more immature than he is.
His parents & siblings love me; they hope I can calm him down. My folks and friends don't like him; they say he's bad for me. AS I imagine if our hero lived in a more enlightend era he would have disapproved of Doyler.

I've gone on too long, I apologize, I'm a bit out of sorts.


>Dear Jamie
>I bought ASTB with book tokens that I won for being
>the best in my school at religious studies, it's
>really because I'm the only catholic at school and my
>dad's a deacon. I don't know why- I just thought that
>was kind of funny.The book is poetic and brilliant and
>bittersweet, and I'm not sure if thats allways
>brilliant but I certainly thought it was and also very
>witty (especially the bit when MacEmm kissed the man
>whose life he had just saved and of course how can
>aunt Eva's reaction fail to warm your heart).
>Its quite funny as well, or it might be, that I got
>bored halfway through Ulle...sy..es (sorry but my
>spelling really can be atrocious sometimes),(well not
>bored, but stream of conciousness can be heavy on a
>fifteen year old's brain) and started reading At swim.
>To be honest I haven't quite finished it yet, I'm
>still at the Muglins (I know I know) but I need to
>read the end all in one go. Jamie you must hate people
>like me but I read the last few pages before I started
>the beginning so that I could spend the longevity of
>the book preparing myself for Doyler's Death.
>The book really is inspiring, I'm serious, because Im
>saving up to by a flute (at my age, peripatetic
>lessons are free now at school so Im taking up all the
>instruments I can).
>I'm quarter Irish and Im so proud of that now that I
>feel like my hearts going to burst. My greatist regret
>is that I didn't write about the uprising for my Irish
>Coursework because after reading ASTB I could made the
>work come alive. Instead I wrote about the Battle of
>the Boyne and the Great famine.
>Theres only six people in my history class and now I
>feel like we're the elite at school because we are
>literally the only people (at school)(Ireland isn't
>taught untill upper school) who know the difference
>between Unionists and Nationalists for example. Its an
>English school and now I can't help thinking that
>everyone else is so ignorant and I would happilly
>share At Swim with all my friends who would understand
>it, the six of them of course, but I'v allready shared
>other gay themed books with them and I can't really
>afford to now. Theyr'e not wrong in their assumptions
>about me but I feel so pathetic without a boyfriend
>that I'm waiting 'till i've found one to tell them
>that i'm gay (at the moment) and give them ASTB to
>make them all a lot more open minded but I can't yet
>and that' quite painful.
>Did you have similar experiences at school? Was it a
>catholic school you went to? I'm going to one to do my
>A-levels and I can't wait.
>Did you ever meet anyone like jim or doyler at school?
>If so then I can live in hope yet. But I think that
>all the people that beautiful are now dead.
>The only question I really want to ask is that did you
>know you had readers this young (15)? I couldn't help
>thinking that when I picked up the book it would have
>some sort of age restriction and that the embarassed
>shopkeeper would send me away. I'v been reading the
>book on the beach and when friends mums would ask what
>it was about I would tell them i'd bought it to learn
>about the easter rising but when they'd asked to read
>the blurb i would shriek and run away catching the
>brick of a book to my chest. Honestly, why does the
>blurb have to have mentions of scandalous nude...
>I really have fully understood the book so far (we
>found out that the romans were gay in English doing
>julius caeser by shakespeare)and thankyou so much for
>writing it.
>Oh I do have one more question, are english lessons
>called engligh lessons or Irish lessons in Ireland?
>Frankie (15) Norfolk, England.

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[> Subject: Re: Young readers

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Date Posted: Tue, Oct 18 2005, 2:52:21 GMT

What a beautiful post, and a beautiful reply. I guess the writer never truly puts down his pen.

I'm so glad that Jims and Doylers are out there. I look forward to meeting one of my own.

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[> [> Subject: Re: Young readers

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Date Posted: Tue, Oct 18 2005, 3:03:18 GMT

OO, and Frankie, if you'd like you can email me or add me to msn messenger at jonjoncoleman@hotmail.com I'm always interested in chatting about At Swim with a boy sorta close to my age (I'm 22)

Hope to hear from you


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