Ratz are Nice (PSP)

Author(s): Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite

Gay & Bi Male Fiction

This Victoria, British Columbia, author's second novel is one of the riskiest books yet from Alyson, publisher of cutting-edge gay titles. (His excellent debut, Wiggers, appeared in Canada in 1994 and, unfortunately, received almost no critical notice.) It is difficult to read, with typographical symbols and codes, forward slashes, idiosyncratic spelling, acronyms and self-invented slang meant broadly to indicate the radical and transgressive nature of the voice serving up the narrative: "Wot'z Sparker'z subjet: Killer//ras enuff to be on that tree of life of hiz n hiz familiez', buddiez absorb'n light." The unconventional text follows several mods, skinheads, hardcore punks and other socially dissonant young men on the streets of Victoria. Sex is a connective tissue among them all, and--amid the drugs, drink, slam dancing and violence--there are even quixotic expressions of tenderness and love. Neo-Nazis mix dangerously with racially mixed punk scenesters; the protagonist, Edison, is a black skinhead. Edison describes the rivalry between two gangs that form the core of the culture called PSP (Pure Street Punk). These guys aren't straight, but neither are they gay, and their edgy sexual mutability underscores their daily lives in the musical, social and emotional zones of PSP. Fearlessly experimental and antiestablishment, Braithwaite's story is too disjointed for clarity; the lives of the punk boys get tangled up in a knot rather than interconnect expressively. This is a tough read, but hardcore, punk rock kids and souls sympathetic to the down-and-dirty street lifestyle may recognize something meaningful in all the distortion. (Publishers Weekly)


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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781555835545
  • : Alyson Publications
  • : Alyson Publications
  • : May 2000
  • : July 2000
  • : January 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 192
  • : Lawrence Ytzhak Braithwaite