Book Review: Ben Brooks' "Lolito"
This is where he meets Macey, a thirty-something mother of two, single, lonely and desperately seeking comfort and fulfilment. But is she what she seems? Here, Brooks triumphs; what could easily become simply grubby erotic scenes, are in fact scenes written with pathos. His ability to switch between ludicrous faux sex acts, written with great humour, and moments of painful reality, demonstrates a skill which belies his youth.
Laugh out loud funny, odd, and strangely sincere, Brooks challenges our perception of age-gap relationships via Etgar’s often bizarre narrative. While Etgar’s choices appear to be his own, this is subtly undermined by the childish language the boy uses to describe sex and intimacy. Yet the relationship between Etgar and Macey is one from which they both gain comfort and some measure of understanding. In this way, the story remains nuanced, and the author refrains from drawing any definitive conclusions on this controversial subject.
Lolito is a novel unlike anything I’ve read before: compelling, funny, and a true tale for our time. Ben Brooks is a writer to watch out for.
This review was first published at Literature Works.
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