A comic debut that takes a fast trot through the homosexual coming-of-age of a middle-class North Carolina adolescent: a series of superficial set-pieces mostly, but the novel finally builds when its locale shifts to Washington, D.C. Andy, who ``was always looking for the right candidate,'' fills his loneliness by building a shrine to Jimmy Carter in his bedroom and by calling older men who collect political memorabilia: ``In high school, Andy's goal was to have the biggest Jimmy Carter collection in the whole country.'' Through this obsession, he meets a string of grotesques as well as Preston, who ``models underpants in the `Dads-n-Lads' section of the Sears, Roebuck catalogue.'' As Andy discovers his sexual orientation, he also gets a case of the zits—he ``preferred being called `Pizza Face' to `Monster Face.' '' The story bogs down in some low-rent satire of suburbia and officious types before Andy moves on to Chapel Hill for college and an unrequited crush on roommate Ryan.
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