Deprivation; or, Benedetto furioso by Alex Jeffers
an oneiromancy

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the interpretation of dreams in order to foretell the future.

Sleep deprivation does funny things to your head. Steeped in the romance of Renaissance Italian literature, Ben Lansing isn’t coping well with the routines of his first post-college job, his daily commute from Providence, Rhode Island, to Boston, the inevitable insomnia and lack of sleep, or the peculiarly vivid dreams when he does manage to sleep.

For Ben “wished to be a paladin. He wished to mount Ariosto’s hippogriff and fly to the moon. He wished to sing a Baroque aria of stunning, shocking brilliance, bringing the audience to its feet roaring, ‘Bravo! Bravissimo!’ He wished to run mad for love.”

When Ben encounters a lost prince squatting in a derelict South Boston warehouse with his little sister and elder brother, exiles of an imaginary Italy, he resolves to rescue Dario and Dario’s family—and himself. Stumbling from dream to real life and back again, Ben begins a fabulous quest. Amid visions of futures, pasts, strangely altered presents, he encounters mythic personages—raffish bike messenger/artist Neddy, dilettante translator Kenneth, his own mother and father. He falls in and out of love. He witnesses the flight of the hippogriff and the collapses of the New England economy and his parents’ marriage. He discovers what he never knew he was looking for all along.

In Deprivation, a novel as real as a fairy tale or romantic Renaissance epic, neither Ben nor the reader can ever feel certain of being awake or dreaming, walking the streets of Boston or the mazy paths of dreamland. Can you separate wish from fulfilment? Do you want to?

About Alex Jeffers

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Published February 27, 2013 by Lethe Press. 315 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Gay & Lesbian, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

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Various people—some more real than others—try to guide and control rootless Ben: dark, beautiful Dario and his siblings, who moved from a Boston warehouse to Dario’s small apartment in Providence;

Dec 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Deprivation; or, Benedetto fu...

Publishers Weekly

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Jeffers (You Will Meet a Stranger Far from Home) tries and fails to build literary heft into this queer and fantastical bildungsroman, first written in the early 1990s and displaying all the flaws of the era’s white upper-middle-class gay fiction.

Dec 24 2012 | Read Full Review of Deprivation; or, Benedetto fu...

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