“The first novel (1982) in a trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels by the US novelist Edmund White (b. 1940). It charts a boy’s growing awareness of his homosexuality. The others are The Beautiful Room is Empty (1988) and Farewell Symphony (1997).
The title is an ironic echo of The Boy’s Own Paper (often referred to as ‘the BOP), a boy’s magazine published from 1879 to 1967, initially by the Religious Tract Society. The last issue of the BOP featured on its cover the 21-year-old Manchester United footballer George Best, described as a role model who ‘doesn’t smoke, drinks only occasionally, and restricts his card playing to sessions which ease the boredom of travelling.'”
Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.