Type : Novel (410 pages)

Author : John Rechy

Genre : Gay novel

Date : 1963

Country of origin : USA

From the collection of


School : ENSA Paris-Belleville

Age : 22 years old

Area of study : Architecture

City of study : Paris

After an exhibition of Hockney at Beaubourg where the book was quoted as one of the artist’s inspirations, this book was a heart stroke.


“A young man (Rechy uses the term “youngman” when referring to hustlers) travels across the country while working as a hustler. The book focuses chapters on locations that the youth visits and certain personages he meets there, from New York City, to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Orleans. Throughout the novel, the unnamed narrator has trysts with various peculiar characters, including another hustler, an older man, an S&M enthusiast and a bed-ridden old man. All of these relationships range in the extent of their emotional and sexual nature, as well as in their peculiarity.

The book includes writing about the Cooper Do-nuts Riot, which happened in 1959 in Los Angeles, when the lesbians, gay men, transgender people, and drag queens who hung out at Cooper Do-nuts and who were frequently harassed by the LAPD fought back after police arrested three people, including Rechy. Patrons began pelting the police with donuts and coffee cups. The LAPD called for back-up and arrested a number of rioters. Rechy and the other two original detainees were able to escape.”

Categories: Book


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