Rated of 5
by Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY) Looks Can Be Deceiving
This well written, yet heartbreaking story is told from the different , first person, points of view of each parent, a younger brother, a doctor, a girlfriend, and teenage Max, born with & labelled as intersex.
Max's perfectly groomed, educated parents focus on the outward behaviors of their 2 children & don't deal with the deeper issues each child is struggling with, especially Max. Daniel is difficult but Max is the 'good boy'. He gets good grades, is popular, good looking, obedient,athletic. Yet, when something tragic happens to him, they are clueless about his distress & shame.
On a general level, Golden Boy is about being different, keeping secrets,denial & self acceptance. It highlights how little the scientific community knows about sexual variation. It also deals with rape & the mind of the rapist who is often a person close to the family & the 'least likely suspect'. Golden Boy might be an important book for a high school class to use as a springboard for discussions on feeling different, tolerance, living with secrets & shame, sexuality, etc. Perhaps it would prevent a suicide. Abigail Tarttelin gave life to Max & I find the book's details haunting me despite having finished it.
Rated of 5
by Priscilla M. (Houston, TX) An interesting read...
This was an interesting read on a complex subject. Max Walker is a sixteen year old boy, popular, obedient, and seemingly normal in every way. The secret his family holds close is that Max is intersexual. He was born with both male and female anatomical features. As he reaches puberty, the inevitable problems arise. I thought the author developed the character of Max well enough, but the other characters seemed stilted and trapped in their roles. The family dynamics were too predictable for most of the story. Having said that, this was a compelling story, and I found myself rooting for Max as he tries to sort out where his true sexual orientation lies. There are no easy answers, and the author wisely does not provide a cliched ending.
Rated of 5
by Bonnie B. (Port St. Lucie,, FL) Golden Book
Max is a 'perfect' young man. His grades are great, the girls love him, he's captain of the football team, and he doesn't give his parents trouble. There is one great family secret, however. Max is intersex. This book provides a lot of information about intersexuality and it is a wonderful story of Max, his friends and his family. Told from varied viewpoints, we get to know Max and his life. This is a wonderful book, well-written and a page-turner at the same time.
Rated of 5
by Bobbie D. (Boca Raton, FL) Golden Boy named Max
First of all, I think Golden Boy, which is the title, will confuse people. I thought it was about Sammy Davis Jr and his show on Broadway years ago. Would like to call it MAX which says it all. (Neither male or female). Always difficult to raise a "special" child. Even more so, when a parent runs for public office and is subject to close scrutiny. You are drawn to Max (a child in his mid teens, with both XX and XY chromosomes, now referred to as "intersex"), who is popular, good looking and bright. But he carries his medical history pretty much in secret. This book would be a good read for older teens and young adults to show tolerance. Also for psychiatrists, sociologists and teachers. You see how wrong doctors are when they discuss a child's problem with the parents and ignore the child who is in the same room. Readers, who previously read State of Wonder, or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will like this book a lot. Genetics and medical intervention play a very important part here. The author divides her chapters by the characters and is well written. There is a quote from Max that I think is so important. "It takes strength to be proud of yourself and to accept yourself when you know that you have something out of the ordinary about you. I had that strength."
Rated of 5
by Rebecca K. (Illinois) Heart-breaking and fascinating
"Golden Boy" is one of the best novels I've read in years. It provides a heart-wrenching view at the growing pains faced by an intersex teen. Max's story is full of family secrets, medical questions, and difficulties with dating. It's a page-turner, and I read it in several days, not wanting to put it down to go to bed at night. Heart-breaking at times, the novel provides honest glimpses into a family full of secrets and lies. I highly recommend it.
Rated of 5
by MaryEllen K. (Albany, NY) Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Max Walker was born intersex, a fact that apparently did not cause much conflict or confusion for him as a child. However, when he is 16, aspects of his sexuality are forced into immediate consideration for Max and his parents. Karen and Steve had been completely oblivious to the psychological and social dilemmas Max would face as a teenager, so they had not discussed sex with him at all. Max is tormented about something that has happened to him, and his anguish is made very palpable by the author. He is dealing with so many confusing issues, with no one to turn to who might be able to understand and empathize with his unique condition. I very much liked the two characters who DO provide some support: his doctor, and his friend Sylvie. This book brought to mind two books I have read which also featured intersex protagonists: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Annabel by Kathleen Walker. I think that having read these standout novels enhanced my enjoyment of Golden Boy.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...