Sweet, fat, theatrical Billy-Boy was never cut out to be a farmer, but as his father’s only son he’s obliged to try. The cows are wayward and the chores are gruelling, but Billy finds escape in a fantasy world. A place where the turnip paddock becomes a lunar landscape, a lavender bed jacket a slinky space suit, a cow’s tail a head of beautiful blonde hair, and where Billy can become Judy Robinson, heroine of TV’s 'Lost in Space'.
But in an isolated conservative farming community in 1970s New Zealand, not everyone approves of Billy’s transformation. On the brink of adolescence, Billy is beginning to discover that growing up is far more complicated and confusing than he could ever have imagined. While the mysteries of sex confound him, emotions are unleashed which urge Billy to betray those closest to him.
'50 Ways of Saying Fabulous' is a poignant and endearingly comic novel. Anyone who grew up in a small town, grew up feeling that they didn’t fit in, or simply grew up will find this book funny, touching and unforgettably evocative of childhood lost.
Praise for '50 Ways of Saying Fabulous':
'I loved this funny sad tale of growing up a sissy in New Zealand. Graeme Aitken proves that even the most extraordinary events can occur to wonderfully ordinary people. If I knew fifty ways of saying fabulous, I’d use them all to praise this charming first novel.’ EDMUND WHITE
'Thoroughly engaging.' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
'A funny but also achingly sad first novel'. OBSERVER
'A sort of gay Adrian Mole ... There are laughs aplenty but also moments of agony ... Told with bare faced honesty, it is a warm, cruel, funny tale.' THE SUNDAY AGE
'Touching and sad, '50 Ways of Saying Fabulous' also has some very funny moments.' THE TIMES
'An entertainment, a gentle, poignant story of a fat boy who fantasises romance and glamour without yet having a name for what he is ... Aitken writes with a distinctive voice, one that is wonderfully evocative.' DENNIS ALTMAN, THE AGE
'... an important work ... What Aitken has demonstrated fabulously is his skill in the art of telling a good story ... his honesty and fearlessness in confronting those squirmy adolescent secrets is to be admired.' CANBERRA TIMES
About the Author
Graeme Aitken is best known for his two previous bestselling novels '50 Ways of Saying Fabulous' and 'Vanity Fierce, published by Random House Australia and by Hodder Headline in the UK. '50 Ways of Saying Fabulous' was adapted into a feature film in New Zealand and was an official selection for the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival. It also became a popular hit on the queer film festival circuit. Most recently Graeme has been writing and self-publishing his own e-books (‘The Indignities’ series and ‘Top Mark’). In addition to his work as an author, Graeme has also worked as the manager of Sydney’s specialist LGBT bookshop for the past 23 years. There are now only a handful of these shops left in the world. With all this experience, he is an Australian authority on LGBT books/writing and he edited 'The Penguin Book of Gay Australian Writing' in 2002. Graeme is also extremely knowledgeable about publishing (he has experience with all facets – mainstream, small press, and indie self-publishing) and the current state of the publishing/bookselling industry. Graeme likes to share topical information about writing, GLBT literature, books, publishing, and bookselling on social media.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A very enjoyable read. It ended too soon. The author is a great storyteller.