How Boys See Girls

How Boys See Girls is a vigorous exercise in misanthropy and debauchery. The antihero of Gilmour’s brief tale is a 40-year-old Toronto speechwriter named Bix who’s got it, but good, for a whacked- out 19-year-old named Holly. Holly won’t have Bix. Then she will. Then she won’t. Bix, meanwhile, has hit the skids. And while he’s waiting for Holly to get it together, his narration involves more booze and self-pity than John Cheever’s journals. For the most part, Gilmour holds our interest. He’s a sharp, caustic writer. He can flex his attitude on any subject, including Holly’s bookshelf: ”A novel by Graham Greene, a paperback Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, Leaves of Grass, then the usual spiritual shit, Carlos Castaneda, Confucius, the Bhagavad-Gita, none of it read, thank God.” There are moments when Gilmour’s novel is a funny, dizzying thing, but there are also moments when not much seems at stake — another mid-life crisis, another squalid sex scene, another mean drunk. B

How Boys See Girls
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