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Hardcover Broken Fever Book

ISBN: 0312261292

ISBN13: 9780312261290

Broken Fever

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

What are the roots of personal identity? In this collection of essays, James Morrison searches for answers within the experiences and emotional reality of his own childhood in an attempt to pinpoint... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Excellent Memoir in a Season of Catholic Homosexuality

James Morrison writes truly of the tensions of Catholic boys spreadeagle on the crucifix of Catholicism. Something must be in the air; for Morrison's book appears amazingly at the same moment this spring as two others--similar, complementary, and of literary note--particularly for Reading Lists. One is "Escaping God's Closet: Revelations of a Queer Priest" by Bernard Duncan Mayes. "Closet" is the memoirist essay of an Anglo-Catholic priest dealing with the theology of his sexual essence in San Francisco. The other, most parallel to "Broken Fever: Reflections of Gay Boyhood" is the memoir-in-the-shape-of- a-novel, "What They Did to the Kid: Confessions of an Altar Boy" by Jack Fritscher, who, the jacket says, is a graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum, which, as a seminary fictionalized, represents the quintessential terror of Catholic education raised "ad absurdum" to "fever" pitch just at the moment when youthful identity emerges. Both Morrison and Fritscher keep their books "pure." Impurity in both books is masked by "wrestling" which must be the most Catholic of sports for closeted gay boys. Both are "poets"--and perhaps victims--obviously educated in the high-Catholic humanist disciplines of literature. Morrison's "Broken Fever" is to nonfiction memoir as "What They Did to the Kid" is to fictional memoir. Both these writers, specifically Catholic, specifically literate, specifically writhing and writing about a past that, thank God, no longer exists, really ought, with these two new books, to be on the same reading tour as well as on the same reading list as well as the same tranquilizers. I find the comparison and contrast between the two books rather fortuitous coincidence. Morrison's book is I think a finely precise piece that helps expose why Catholicism deservedly collapsed after Vatican II, having for so long terrified its children. Morrison's title metaphor is apt: the Catholic "fever" of the past burned up more than one boy. I know. His book brought up things I hadn't thought of in years.

"A Difficult Time of Life"

In this collection of personal essays James Morrison writes about a very difficult time of life, boyhood. A time of coming to terms with oneself, your identity, and the process of accepting or denying who you are and the feelings that go with that. It's a very complex process and an even more difficult one when you come to realize you are gay. Growing up is a time of great discovery and this author shares his many memories of that time in his life in an intelligent and honest way. I think he's a great storyteller, and his memories brought back many memories of my own boyhood. It made me think about a lot of things I had long forgotten or buried in the back of my mind. These essays are the best when he is just focusing on telling the stories. It's when he starts to theorize or psychoanalyze every event using language that requires me to grab my dictionary every other sentence that I really got frustrated and wanted to give up. However, he always seemed to get back on track and then I couldn't stop reading about his early boyhood memories.I especially enjoyed "Checks and Balances" about his experience with classmate Luke and his first sexual feelings, and "Questions of Travel", that wonderful experience of "the" family vacations, which is so easy to relate to. The moments of frustration aside, I really did enjoy this book. Probably because I could identify with so much of James boyhood and his early experiences. If you want an intellectual read, I believe this book is a true success, and very enjoyable! It brought back many memories for me and it will for you, too!
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