The Best Little Boy in the World: The 25th Anniversary Edition of the Classic Memoirby Andrew Tobias, John Reid
"The best little boy in the world never had wet dreams or masturbated; he always topped his class, honored mom and dad, deferred to elders and excelled in sports . . . . The best little boy in the world was . . . the model IBM exec . . . The best little boy in the world was a closet case who 'never read
The classic account of growing up gay in America.
"The best little boy in the world never had wet dreams or masturbated; he always topped his class, honored mom and dad, deferred to elders and excelled in sports . . . . The best little boy in the world was . . . the model IBM exec . . . The best little boy in the world was a closet case who 'never read anything about homosexuality.' . . . John Reid comes out slowly, hilariously, brilliantly. One reads this utterly honest account with the shock of recognition." The New York Times
"The quality of this book is fantastic because it comes of equal parts honesty and logic and humor. It is far from being the story of a Gay crusader, nor is it the story of a closet queen. It is the story of a normal boy growing into maturity without managing to get raped into, or taunted because of, his homosexuality. . . . He is bright enough to be aware of his hangups and the reasons for them. And he writes well enough that he doesn't resort to sensationalism . . . ." San Francisco Bay Area Reporter
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Random House Publishing Group
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The Best Little Boy in The World by Andrew Tobias - written as John Reid This is the story of a boy that is the best little boy in the world (BLBITW) as measured by all standards - great grades, great in sports and bound to Yale. However he hides a secret: he's gay. So he proceeds to tells us the story of his coming out. Some coming out stories are classics that transcend the test of time. This book is not. Just like Tobias/Reid spends lots of times reciting Spartacus' guide to gay life in new York City, Boston, and Provincetown in the seventies - both that Spartacus issue and this books are "old news." Narrated from the first person point of view - it starts with a bang: "I was eighteen years old when I learned to fart." Tobias/Reid then goes on on masturbation, which he also discovered at age 18. (Don't believe it). From there he goes on to a series of boring descriptions of several relationships - must of which are nameless (for example Esquire is a lawyer, Mother is his mother and Father is his father). The most humanity in the book is when the writer decides that there may be a worthiness to some people other than their looks. Mr. Tobias/Reid comes out as a snob - favoring men who are Ivy League graduates or "butch." Effeminate men are discriminated upon. I could tolerate that, only because it was written in the seventies, but I was offended by the blatant racism: "I'm from Queents, New Yawuk, and my life'ss ambition iss to go to Puerto Rico and find some gorgeouss number to f**k me." p. 207. Even though the work could be considered as a time period capsule, I'm afraid I will pass on The Best Little Boy in the World Grows up. I think you should read something else....
The Best Little boy in the World is an indispensable read for any gay man who is struggling with coming out. Tobias' work makes you fall in love with him.The problem with gay literatute is that there is not enough aimed towards the colored gay man.Readers should also read The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up.
I am 22 years old and have recently come out to my family and friends....only weeks after I read this book. I can not tell you how much I related to this and how much it has helped me be comfortable with who I am. I recommend this book highly to anyone who is just coming out and needs help understanding that they are not the only one out there and that they are not weird.....
This is an outstanding, if a bit dated, book on how a shy and inexperienced gay young man starts the early process of coming out, with all its excitement and frustrations. It will be very valuable to people in the closet who are just starting to consider how they feel and how other gay people may feel. He writes with humor and honesty. Remember it's pre-AIDS, though, so everyone is very frisky and irresponsible sexually. Check out the sequel by the same author, but it's not as interesting or fun.
This book is absolutely a wonderful comedy relief in such a dramatic hard life that many have to live. I read a review written by someone else on this page and felt compelled write. This person obviously has no idea the absolute impact this book has on people that have been thrown into such a wirlwind of emotions and feelings. I forgive them as they are obviously blessed with a 'better' life and can't truly understand how important a book such as this is. This book made me laugh and cry and it is written in such a way that it feels like you are reading your own story. Highly recommended. I bought the sequel and have yet to read it.
Even though the book was very enlightening, I expected more in depth feelings from the author. I did not like his comparisons of blacks and gays in America. Even though the two are minorities, gay 'white' men are far more accepted than straight 'black' men. I do not plan to read the sequel and suggests that readers read the first book before reading the second.