Lynn Coady’s Mean Boy is a novel about a university student and would-be poet who falls under the spell of one of his writing teachers, who is not only an accomplished poet but also a wildly dysfunctional alcoholic (why do those two so often seem to go hand in hand?) Larry idolizes Jim, but during the course of a year at a New Brunswick university, he learns some things about idols with feet of clay, and also about his own weaknesses. This is a very funny book in places, but also a little dark and sad. I was glad I read it, but by the time I was finished I didn’t want to spend a lot more time with these characters in their world. Nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.
June 7, 2006 · 9:56 am