Tales Out of School by Benjamin Taylor

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Synopsis

The strange hothouse world of Galveston Island, Texas, has been good to the Mehmels, German Jewish immigrants who prosper there in the late nineteenth century, and whose second generation is still flush as the century turns. But destruction – moral and natural, including the great hurricane that nearly destroyed the city – is not far off, and for bookish, fourteen-year-old grandson Felix, last of the line, salvation lies in self-discovery. Pried away from his Ovid and Virgil, he is seduced by the rough, handsome bully who has long taunted him. And over the sultry summer of 1907, he asserts his independence and launches into manhood even as his family’s morale, sanity, and fortunes wane. Erotic as it is exalted, defiantly comic as it is sad, Tales Out of School is a timeless novel by a masterful contemporary writer.
 

About Benjamin Taylor

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BENJAMIN TAYLOR is the author of two acclaimed novels—The Book of Getting Even and Tales Out of School—and the editor of Saul Bellow: Letters, called by The New York Times Book Review “an elegantissimo book. Our literature's debt to Taylor is considerable.” He lives in New York City.
 
Published October 1, 1995 by Turtle Point Pr. 283 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tales Out of School

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Taylor, author of a collection of essays (Into the Open: Studies in Genius and Modernity, not reviewed), writes in a richly poetic language steeped in time and place, a powerful style that well supports the tale of the Mehmel family, ``a people for whom life had become too hard.'' The Mehmels, li...

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Publishers Weekly

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Taylor's spare, supple prose easily accommodates effective forays into magic realism as well as nuanced evocations of the desire, religious doubt and affection that animate his memorable characters.

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Publishers Weekly

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In a starred review PW called this homoerotic coming-of-age story, set in turn-of-the-century Texas, ""elegant, lyrical and elegiac."" (Apr.)

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