|Publisher||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|1995 (1st edition)|
|Pages||195 p. (hardback 1st edition)|
|ISBN||ISBN 1-56512-106-6 (hardback 1st edition)|
|LC Class||PS3557.R4949 D74 1995|
Dream Boy is a 1995 novel by Jim Grimsley.
Nathan is an intelligent but shy, adolescent boy, who wants to escape from his abusive and violent father and fantasizes about a relationship with Roy, the boy who lives next door. Roy is a senior at the same high school as Nathan, and he drives the school bus. Gradually their relationship deepens and becomes sexual.
Drunk one evening, Nathan's father tries to molest him. This is clearly not the first time it has happened and helps explain Nathan's desire to escape from his family. His mother avoids the issue, although she knows what is going on.
Nathan is accepted into Roy's social circle and is invited to go on a camping trip with Roy and his friends Randy and Burke. During the trip, they discover an abandoned and possibly haunted plantation house and Nathan and Roy are discovered by Randy and Burke in a compromising situation.After being left by Roy,Nathan remains in the house,seemingly alone until knocked unconscious by an unknown figure.The figure talks to Nathan as he is being guided through the house into the attic,Nathan seems to recognize the figures voice.
The figure turns out to be Burke,who he says is the only one who came back for Nathan.He later on rapes Nathan and disgusted with what he had just done, hits Nathan with a chair handle.Nathan dies yet is still able to think and see and is found by Roy and Randy the next day after Burke told them.Roy is distraught,telling Randy to catch up with Burke and saying he doesn't trust the story he told them.
Nathan tries to speak or move but is still unable to.Roy covers Nathan in a blanket found in the same room,letting his face still be visible.Nathan then becomes unaware for a period of time unknowing if Roy had left yet or stayed.His father along with other men show up to look at the body.Nathan's father takes the cover and covers Nathan's face with it.Then the actions of the people filling the room are unknown as Nathan gets lost in his own thoughts.
Nathan notices they've gone and decides to finally stand up,he is able to accomplish this then wander about the house for a moment observing it from the daytime.He then finds his way out of the house and retraces his steps to the encounters he had with his three companions before approaching the abandoned plantation.
Nathan rests for a while then is determined to find Roy.He approaches their houses and observes from a distance Roy's mother and his own standing on the porch gazing out into the forest as if looking for someone.Nathan questions if Roy had even come home after finding him in the attic.He continues walking on until he is able to hear the music of a church nearby.The music continues as people begins to pour out of church the service being over.Nathan then sees Roy coming out of the church alongside his girlfriend,he looks as if he had been crying moments ago.
Nathan steps out from behinds the trees and everyone notices him.Roy steps closer wanting to make sure what he sees is real and after it is confirmed that Nathan truly is standing before him,his first reaction is to run but he only made it a couple of feet away before facing Nathan once more.
Roy approaches Nathan and the two share a short conversation before realizing people are beginning to stare at Nathan as well. They go somewhere else more private to speak leaving everyone back at the church.Roy tells Nathan that he was dead,there is no questioning that.Yet his resurrection seems to not surprise Roy.Nathan asks what they should do and Roy decides they should run away up North together.They begin to hear the voices of people looking for them.They decide to go and never look back.
Dream Boy has been adapted for film and written and directed by James Bolton. Starring Stephan Bender as Nathan, Maximillian Roeg as Roy and also featuring musician Rickie Lee Jones as Roy's mother. The film was first screened on February 12, 2008 at the Berlin International Film Festival, and Richard Buckner has recorded the film's soundtrack.
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