Title: 100 Boyfriends
Author: Brontez Purnell
Format Read: eBook (ARC) - Expected publication: February 2021]
Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I was so thoroughly consumed by 100 Boyfriends that I'm not really sure how to even talk about it... But I'll try.
In this slender volume we are presented with vignettes of the lives of queer black men. We get to experience the moments that punctuate the expanse of a life, many of which are centered around sex and the pivotal role it can play in shaping our relationships, our sense of self, and ultimately our entire lives.
The prose is provocative and the storytelling masterful. I lived entire lives in as short a space as a single paragraph. Purnell provided me with a window into worlds that manage to be both mostly foreign to my lived experience but also hauntingly familiar in the emotions they evoke and the longings they explore. I think that I laughed as much because of the humor and wit that is present in his writing as I did out of nervousness from the realization that I could see myself in the pages.
To me, 100 Boyfriends ultimately stands as a pointed commentary on the othering - both externalized and internalized - of both queer lives and black lives in the modern world and the common yearning to find belonging even in the midst of personal rebellion. I think I'll go read it again.
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