Told through the alternating viewpoints of four characters, this story, written by a celebrated gay literary novelist, centers around a traditional upper class boys' school. Confusion reigns when a new teacher and a troubled 16-year-old student become entangled in an illicit relationship.Told through the alternating viewpoints of four characters, this story, written by a celebrated gay literary novelist, centers around a traditional upper class boys' school. Confusion reigns when a new teacher and a troubled 16-year-old student become entangled in an illicit relationship.Read Less
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Very good writing, and this time it works for Russell. Adolescents are allowed to make bad decisions, and in this book, they do. But the usual self-destructiveness of Russell characters is, in The Coming Storm, modified to the extent that one feels taken and gripped by the situations the characters get themselves into. Rich in tropes, metaphors, allusions, and other hallmarks of Creative Writing Workshops. You will appreciate this book keenly if you are familiar with the operas of Richard Strauss and Schubert's Die Winterreise, used as a way of revealing the interior of one of the characters. Precious device, but it's also a way of putting distance between the adult and the youngster. There are other intriguing devices, if you're willing to let them work for you. And best of all, the lead character seems eventually able to escape doom, but it seems more Paul Russell's decision to stop him from fatal mistakes than the character's native growth in savviness and understanding. Paul Russell as puppetmaster. But the plot and characters are believable, which they are not in Boys of Life, a thooughly unpleasant romp into the improbable.
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