One of the landmark novels of our time, The Hand-Reared Boy was the first British novel to explore, frankly and with unabashed honesty, the sexual awakening of a young boy. Horatio Stubbs grows from childhood to adolescence and his preoccupations (and those of all young men) are described with wit and perception as he reaches puberty. The Hand-Reared Boy was rejected by thirteen publishers before being published in 1970. Readers were more accustomed to Brian Aldiss as a writer of award-winning science fiction. It has now been recognised for what it is an original, delightfully funny description of the young Horatio Stubbs s burgeoning sexuality, the emotions of adolescence had never been treated so explicitly. The Hand-Reared Boy no longer provokes a sense of shock but it has become the classic study of a boy s self-discovery and realisation that other people are more than sexual objects.
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