Max Walker is the golden boy. He's attractive, intelligent, athletic. He's even nice to his little brother. Max is going to pass his exams with flying colours; he’s going to make his parents proud.
Max Walker has a terrible secret that could blow his perfect life apart. But someone knows his secret, someone close to him who could do great damage to Max. In fact he's already started…
©2013 Abigail Tarttelin (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
The BEST. A story so beautifully told and compelling, I couldn't put it down.
The story told from various points-of-view gave significant depth to the thought processes of each character.
Max's story-line will always remain with me.
"Essential reading for a difficult topic"
There a lots of reviews about this book but I hadn't read any reviews. Please read this books and encourage all others to read this too. This is an excellent put together audiobook which I listened to this over a matter of a few days. The different readers added the an interesting dimension.
I havent got to the end yet but this book will remain with me for a long time.
The different readers
The rape scene is very graphic and I so wanted to fast forward. Not sure if I am entirely comfortable.
"A funny and poignant look at being 'different'"
I'd noticed the author is relatively young when I set out listening, so I was expecting the 'yoof' tone and language (which felt natural and authentic) but I didn't expect such deft story-telling! Several times I felt we'd crested the narrative wave and I feared my interest was bound to peter out soon. But no, some new fascinating angle on the story would appear and carry me off yet again.
My only frustration with the audiobook is with the editing, or perhaps it would be called the production? I'm not sure. Each chapter is told from the point of view of one character, so the chapters are announced by name. "Max", for example. But sometimes the chapter 'announcements' run into the previous chapter. So I found myself engrossed in some bit of the story, then suddenly the word "Max" is said, confusingly out of context. (Did Max just walk into the room?) I only noticed it a handful of times, but it disrupted my listening flow hugely! Sorry, it's a small point made incoherently. But a bit of feedback for the audiobook producers. The narration itself (four narrators, I think) is terrific and nicely understated. Acting the voice role of a younger child can make for cringe-inducing listening, but the combination of the authentic voice in the writing and excellent narration makes Daniel's character work well, as do all the others.
We need more fiction about gender subtleties. This is a thoughtful book where there are no right 'answers'. But anything that encourages us to see shades of grey, to ponder the different points of view, to put ourselves in all kinds of interesting shoes - well, it's just great. That's not to say this is a 'worthy' book; it's about people who are funny, kind, human, thoughtless - just human, really. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who is dealing with the frustrations with society's handling of gender. And I'd recommend it even more to anyone who doesn't think they're affected by gender issues. In fact, forget gender issues: this book is a deliciously funny and poignant look at coping with being perceived as 'different'. And we *all* are 'different', thank goodness.
"Unusual and Intriguing"
Seveal things1) The subject at the heart was unusual and offered insights into a condition I knew little about2) Four really good narrators whose voices fitted the characters
Without doubt The Golden Boy
Ditto - I loathed his self-centred mother
Boy Meets Girl...
It was good to read a book with a strong narrative thread that felt more a natural story, rather than manufactured, even thoughit was. I felt I could get into Golden Boy's head, I felt I could have been him. Altogether a very rewarding experience.
"Compelling, moving, unforgettable"
Well within my personal top five.
Max, the main character, whose personal struggle embodies all the difficulties and angst of being a teenager, his condition merely serves to reinforce this message.
Max, perfect tone and pace.
The difficult taboo of inter sex has been dealt with in a sensitive, respectful and unsensational (not to mention educational) manner. A very gratifying read - the feelings and opinions of each character is thoroughly explored in depth.
"Great book about a very difficult subject."
Fascinating, inciteful, page-turner.
Nothing like anything that I have ever read before. The dialogue was not always believable but the problems encountered by the main character as a teenager with a secret and how it led to lifechanging consequences were. It really made you feel for him and those who were close to him.
The narration was ok but some of the characters were hard to follow when read by more than one person.It got confusing at times going between the different narrators all talking in the first person about themselves but then doing their own version of the other characters. I found it quite disconcerting and sometimes spoiled the atmosphere of what was going on.
When the boy breaks down in front of his girlfriend to reveal the truth and the lies of his life. I really felt for both of them and at the hospital later in the story his interaction with his mother and the staff made me want to help him so much.
This was a fantastic read. I couldn't stop listening from start to finish over the weekend. It is a very interesting story which puts you in the life of someone who has problems which most of us would never think about in our everyday lives. Believable characters made to face up to the reality of being 'different' and having to deal with the consequences, both health and emotional, during the usual angst of a teenagers life.
I learnt a lot about a subject which is considered 'taboo' within our normal, safe lives, and really made me rethink my attitude to this and other related subjects. I think the author to be brave to take on this subject and produce such an emotional and educational read.Some scenes were quite shocking but were necessary in the context of the story. I will look for more books by the author if this is what she is capable of writing.
"Very original subject matter"
It's frank and sensitive handling of a difficult subject
The Curious Incident of the Dead Dog in the Night Time - again because of the frank nature of the book and the brave handling of the subject matter.
I don't know.
The first chapter but I don't want to be specific because I don't want to spoil it for anyone else.
I would definitely recommend this book.
I often rate books, but never write a review - this book however had such an effect on me that I had to! What a great book, brilliantly written and a topic which I have never really thought about, but has made me want to look into more. You can not imagine what Max has to go through in his short years, and what he will still have to face; neither can you imagine how his parents must feel about his condition and you can totally understand their confusion and reluctance to take any action earlier. Abigail Tarttelin is a fantastic writer and I will definitely be looking out for more books from her, as and when she writes them. The audio of this really brought the book to life, but I would imagine it would still be a real page-turner if you were reading it.
"Moving, amazing, uplifting gem"
This is possibly the most inspiring, moving book I have listened to on Audible and I highly recommend it. This novel by young writer Abigail Tartellin is an unexpected gem and over a few days of listening I became completely immersed in the lives of Max and his family. I knew nothing about intersex before listening to this book and feel that the author explored it and conveyed the information in a hugely empathetic and informative way without losing sight of plot or characterisation.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about this novel is its ability to surprise. I did not know what to expect when I started listening and was constantly surprised throughout the book. There is a very disturbing and upsetting scene at the beginning of the book but don't let this put you off listening as I feel that it is crucial to the story that follows and our understanding of the amazing Max.
The use of multiple narrators works fantastically for this book. I particularly liked the voice of Max, although do feel that Antonia Beamish's narration let down an otherwise 5 star listen.
"Never judge a book from its cover, nor Max"
Yes I would. I learnt so much about inter sex, how many people has one been in contact with, without knowing the persons deepest secret. How easily do we judge someone without realising the persons underlying problem or situation. We all do it!
The easy acceptance from his brother who actually saw him for who is, a beautiful caring sibling.
No I haven't. But I will do.
Yes, I learnt a huge amount of inter sex people, how parents treat them and consequences for having a condition beyond your control.
"Difficult subject tackled intelligently"
This is a fascinating story with a subject matter that is unusual in a novel. It was one of the featured books so I bought it on a whim - a totally unknown quantity. Very original and one I'll return to and will recommend it to others.
The fact it is so different, with so many interesting characters, tackling a taboo subject with sensitivity and understanding.
I enjoyed the exchanges between Max and Sophie and Max and his brother. They are all sp perceptive and yet struggle with their own demons.
I found the end uplifting and was so glad that things had worked out for Max and Sophie. I'd love to know what happens next!
I found the rape scene at the beginning very harrowng and wasn't sure if I'd be able to continue listening. I'm so glad I did.
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