Boulevard by Jim Grimsley

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Newell never really belonged in Pastel, Alabama. Ready for a change, he buys a one-way ticket to New Orleans. The year is 1978 and the rambunctious city beckons with its famous promise of bright lights, excitement, and men everywhere.

Newell makes his way, finding a job in a pornographic bookstore and renting a room in the French Quarter. His good nature, good looks, and a daring stunt in a popular bar make him a quick favorite of the town. Soon he has friends. Some are harmless, like Henry, a pudgy sidekick who's a frequent denizen of the porn shop's movie booths. Others prove more dangerous, like party-boy Mark, Newell's first beau, who has a penchant for recreational drugs. Finally, Newell encounters the volatile Jack, who shows Newell the blackest heart of the city.

Boulevard, Jim Grimsley's fifth novel, reminds us that Grimsley is what Publishers Weekly calls "an accomplished stylist and a complex moralist." He takes one character's dream and reveals what can happen when dreams are fulfilled.


About Jim Grimsley

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Jim Grimsley's first novel, Winter Birds (1994), has been called a harrowing portrayal of family violence. It garnered the North Carolina native the 1995 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Grimsley, who admits he writes autobiographical fiction, has also written Dream Boy (1995), and My Drowning (1997). He is also a playwright and has contributed short stories to anthologies such as Men on Men 6: Best New Gay Fiction (1996). Grimsley's plays have been produced nationwide, including at Atlanta's 7 Stages Theatre, where he has been a writer-in-residence for ten years. Jim Grimsley has been awarded the Bryan Prize for Drama by the Fellowship of Southern Writers and the George Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright of 1988.
Published May 2, 2003 by Algonquin Books. 301 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Boulevard

Kirkus Reviews

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From Grimsley (Kirith Kirin, 2000, etc.), another tale of gay life and love, southern style, as a young Alabama hick tests his mettle against the lures and wicked pleasures of New Orleans.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Boulevard

Publishers Weekly

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The transformation of a gauche country boy from Pastel, Ala., into a latter-day Narcissus, circa 1978 (when to be young, pretty and gay was almost heaven), is the subject of Grimsley's new nove

Jan 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Boulevard

AV Club

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The basic plot of Jim Grimsley's Boulevard–naïve young country hick finds himself, socially and sexually, in the big city–has been...

May 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Boulevard

The Best Reviews

Broke, Newell obtains a busboy job at the nearby .

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Boulevard

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