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The Good Boy

A Memoir

The Good Boy by John Fiennes
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The Good Boy is a first-hand account of a young man's struggle with religion, gay sex, marriage and middle-class morality.The writer first looks at the hero's pioneering ancestors and behavioural links across the generations of the extended Irish Catholic families into which he was born. A quiet 'middle' child, he grows through the turmoil and confusion of a hormone-charged adolescence, facing the dilemma of how to follow the teachings of the church, yet get enough sex. He finds part-time work as a gigolo, a life model and even as a minor actor in the gay porn industry. Sensing the self-destructive nature of this course of action, he seeks safety in a Trappist monastery, but after a year or two of peace and silence, he returns to the 'real' world of middle-class morality, sex and sin. Desperate to be 'normal', he chooses to be heterosexual, meets and marries a pretty girl... Only in middle age does he accept that he is, and always was, homosexual, recognising that the pursuit of happiness is the most basic of human drives. The Good Boy contains useful messages about sexual orientation and the unintended but often harmful effects of guilt-generating religions. It does not advocate unbridled hedonism, but the fundamental message is that the best way to be happy in life is to help others to be happy.
Hybrid Publishers; December 2012
256 pages; ISBN 9781742982403
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Title: The Good Boy
Author: John Fiennes