LOLITO by Ben Brooks
Kirkus Star

LOLITO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Booze, drugs, porn, snuff videos, chat rooms, pedophiles: what one British 15-year-old did over spring break.

Published in England in 2013, Lolito is the fifth novel from 23-year-old prodigy Brooks (Grow Up, 2012, etc.). It's the story of Etgar Allison, who's been left home with the dog over Easter by his parents and his girlfriend, Alice. "I climb back into bed and turn on my computer. I meet Alice. We say hellos....She says they've been sunbathing and swimming. I say that sounds great. We watch a video of two men being killed. The men are members of a drug cartel." One is beheaded with a chain saw, the other is killed with a bowie knife. "That one was good," says Alice, but then she has to go to dinner. Etgar and Alice have been together for three years. They make blanket castles and watch Parks and Recreation and Judd Apatow movies; they rub in each other's acne medication. When that gets boring, they try stuff they've seen on the Internet, like golden showers and fisting. They've been through two abortions and Alice's mother's death; they took ketamine at the funeral. When Etgar learns that Alice has cheated on him with another boy at a party, his adolescent heart is utterly broken. Drinking for days, he ends up in a chat room where he meets a 46-year-old teacher named Macy, eventually arranging to see her at a hotel in London. While not wholesome or romantic, this relationship is portrayed with a certain tenderness. As are Etgar's parents, who come home and help their son get back to normal. You know, normal. "I stare at my feet. I watch a video of a severely disabled person covering a Katy Perry song. I run a bath."

A shocking, funny, touching book; a young writer with potential to burn.

Pub Date: July 21st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-941393-35-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Regan Arts
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2015




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