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Art Bechstein steps out of the library into the summer of his graduation year. Not yet ready for respectability, he falls in with the exotic, charming Arthur Lecomte, and ricochets between a homosexual relationship and an intense affair with a strange and beautiful girl called Phlox. Before long, the world of his new friends and the underworld of his father must collide, with consequences that Art cannot control.

Reviews

'A strikingly accomplished debut'
<i>Sunday Times</i>
His style has an enviable suppleness and fluency which offers the perfect vehicle for the moral feints and shifts of the cool crowd he portrays
<i>TLS</i>
Hard as it is to write about youth when you're young, Chabon has done it brilliantly
<i>Cosmopolitan</i>
Mingles wit, sex and fine writing
<i>Sunday Telegraph</i>
His control over his story, the wonderful use he makes of each description, of Pittsburgh itself, are often astonishing...a young writer with a tremendous skill
<i>New York Times Book Review</i>