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It is the beginning of the summer and Paul has just left school Estranged from the people around him and unable to communicate with his parents he feels lonely and unloved But his life suddenly changes when he meets a young medical student whom he renames Gary Their relationship develops through the long hot summer to reach its climax with the approach of autumnKenneth Martin was only sixteen when he wrote Aubade using his poverty stricken adolescence as well as people he knew for the book’s central conflict and characters Given those one can say that Aubade is the ultimate gay young adult novel

10 thoughts on “Aubade

  1. says:

    the kid was 16 when he wrote this 16 so despite being all hand wringy and clunky and gay sad you get an extra star just for being written by a 16 year old good job book and good job Kenneth Martin color me impressed

  2. says:

    Really of a 4 on its own merits but it is absolutely astonishingly well written for a 16 year old so gets an extra star for that alone Yes the prose style and language is simplistic but the story is also fascinating the awakening to his homosexual nature by a teenager in the mid 50's in the UK If one remembers that such was still very much illegal back then it is even remarkable especially that the ending while sad is by no means the tragedy one would expect ie no one commits suicide or dies On the basis of this I am eager to read Martin's second novel written when he was only 18

  3. says:

    A stunning novel Aubade ‘a song or poem greeting the dawn’ perfectly encapsulates the awkwardness and emotional intensity of early adolescence

  4. says:

    Not particularly memorable for me and I didn’t come to care a great deal about the characters but it held my interest One of its merits is perhaps its rawness in the sense that it’s a teenager writing about teenagers so you get the unfiltered perspective no one can accuse the author of romanticising adolescence here Then again who’s to say that the immediate account of a 16 yo’s life by a 16 yo is authentic than the account of the same author mellowed by age? Who’s to say a 16 yo knows or understands himself better than his future adult self will know or understand him? One suspects the main character might have been a little likeable had he been written a few years later Still a book to read if you are interested in gay literature milestones

  5. says:

    Pretty dull but I understand how important this must've been in context

  6. says:

    This was an interesting book for the reason that the writer was sixteen when he wrote this around 1957 and not to forget it's a book about homosexual love Even though I gave this book two stars it's mostly because of the style or the way it's written and not so much about the plot The writing is very simple and it took no time to read this It isn't written in a bad language per se but writings wise it's poor and neutral Nothing is really described and it's mostly about asking and answering with little variation to verbs and such Hardly ever did it feel that the story took place in the 1950s if you don't count the rock'n'roll twisting and the lack of modern gadgets This was actually a great surprise and the way homosexuality was handled was almost modernI hated Paul and somehow I had hard time picturing this happening in the Great Britain He was a nasty personality and the way he talked to his mother and whatnot was plain shitty The book and Paul especially were emotionally detached from real life Aubade wasn't really a chauvinist story but Paul surely was acting like women were less than men and his almighty attitude really made him repulsive Also the appreciation of medicine was weird but perhaps suited for that time In a way the book is a child of that time and there's nothing wrong with that It would've just needed richer style and logic to make it work better Gary was a better character though it would've been essential to know his age since he described himself as old but I take it he wasn't that old Either way this surely was interesting for it's age if nothing else

  7. says:

    Unlike most early GLBT literature there are no suicides But like most early GLBT literature there is no happy ending Published and seemingly set in 1957 in England this small readable book follows the self discovery of Paul a uiet and stony teenager through his last summer before leaving for university He comes to realize that he is gay through a friendship with Gary an older medical student but finds no lasting relationship or peace A well written work it does leave the reader wanting to follow Paul to university to see if he is able to come to terms with his newly discovered sexuality

  8. says:

    Pretty clunky in terms of style and delivery but a commendable effort for sure considering the author's age when he wrote the book Reading his introductionreflection shed a lot of light on the story's creation It was also super interesting to read about his life during the time the book was published

  9. says:

    See a review at SpeakItsName Review

  10. says:

    It's good considering He wrote it when he was just 16 It's 35 stars