Band Fags!

Frank Anthony Polito, May 2008. This largely autobiographical novel takes the reader through the high school years (and then some) of Jack Paterno, whose best friend is a Total Fag, in the words of his classmates.  Jack often questions his own sexuality, and that’s a major theme of the book, but one that’s seamlessly woven into a tale actually about growing up in Detroit in the mid-eighties.

The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, with a huge cast of characters as entertaining backdrop that can get overwhelming at times. Polito handles this by addressing the reader to remind us of who’s who (“In case you don’t remember – because how can you keep track of so many different people, places, and things? — Audrey Wojczek is my friend who works in the Guidance Counseling Office during 1st hour. The one with the long red hair down to her ‘childbearing hips,’ as she likes to call them”). Still, many characters could have been turned into composites once Polito made the decision to fictionalize his life.  That would have cut down on the explanations and reduced the “huh?” factor.  On the other hand, this method of storytelling is more realistic; it really does sound like a teenager’s thoughts, or at least his diary.

The lengthy (434 pages) book follows Jack Paterno as he  plays in the band, seeks out porn, kisses girls, thinks about kissing boys, plays video games, watches soap operas, dresses up for Halloween, and so on.  There’s not much of a plot, but that’s okay; the journey we’re on is a fun one, even if it takes a long time.

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This entry was posted in 2008, bisexual, Frank Anthony Polito, gay male, gay-bashing, high school, historical, lesbian, queer protagonist, realistic, secondary queer character. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Band Fags!

  1. Thanks for this awesome review of my first book!

    Have you heard about the follow up, DRAMA QUEERS!, which follows the life of Brad Dayton (from Band Fags!) during senior year? I’d love to send you a copy. Just drop me a line with an address: bandfags[at]yahoo[dot]com

  2. Daisy says:

    I’ve already got a copy. Craig at Kensington is on top of things! I’ll get to it in the next month or two. I’m excited because I was a theater person myself rather than a band person….

  3. Awesome! Craig is the BEST publicist ever… He is also my partner, so I’m a little biased. (You’ll see that I dedicated DRAMA QUEERS! to him.) Hope you enjoy!

  4. Daisy says:

    HAHA, he was super-professional and did not tell me that part!

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