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Boys and Girls

by Joseph Connolly

In this very English black comedy of modern manners, Connolly combines an unlikely mixture of Wodehouse farce and Joycean stream of consciousness to produce an entertaining, if outlandish tale of male bonding in a 'ménage a trois'. The inner monologues of four narrators make this a challenging read, but it is well-worth the effort for the sublime comic situations, bordering at times on slapstick.

Extract

And it’s no sort of picnic, please let me assure you, this whole business of going to the sodding lavatory, Lord no, not in the state I’m in ... and now I’m bundling a good deal of myself into one of the airless and quite ridiculously cramped cubicles (hauling in the rest of me by the clammy sweaty handful) and now there’s the jacket and the waistcoat and the braces and the corset (oh Christ yes, the corset – sit on the pan, blow out your cheeks and put your back into the charged and mighty burden of evacuation and the whole contraption is liable to be ripped asunder and hit the opposite wall, if you don’t undo the bloody laces) ...

Parallels

The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis
Skios by Michael Frayn
 

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