Jump to content

The Luckiest Summer

Recommended Posts

Holey moley, this is the best damned story I've read all year -- and that goes for published fiction and Net fiction combined.

I normally stay away from the Nifty "Adult-Youth" stories, because frankly, most of 'em get a little bit too "out there" for me. But this is one is very much an exception, and there is no sex per se between adults and kids.

It's a very sensitive story of infatuation between a lonely kid and an older athletic teen next door. I found it to be exceptionally well-told, very poignant, and achingly real. I actually got a little choked up reading it, which doesn't happen that often.

I can't recommend this story more highly. Here's the link:


Not only would I put this in Best of Nifty, I'd put this in a Best Nifty Story of the Year category, if we had one!

Link to comment
It was written in 2005...

Details, details! Who the F cares, as long as it's a terrific story?

Regardless of when it was written, this novel was really beautifully done. I finished reading it more than 12 hours ago, and I've mulled over the plot and characters at least half a dozen times since. Read it yourself and tell me if you agree.

I think one of the elements the writer used that was the key to the story is one of unrequited love, which I think is what gives the story a lot of its realism and emotional impact. I also admired the fact that the author didn't go for an easy ending, and in fact, went off into a somewhat unexpected direction that I thought was very well-done. And the quality of the writing, particularly in the last chapter, was really poetic and heartfelt. There's also just enough sex in it to engage the interest of readers who want that kind of story -- despite the fact that it's very much a romantic coming-of-age piece.

Honestly, it's probably the best thing I read all year -- with the possible exception of Richard Matheson's masterful The Haunting of Hell House, which is scaring the bejeezus out of me at the moment.

Link to comment

It's 0527, and I just finished reading "The Luckiest Summer." I'm sad that I'm done reading it, actually...it's a fantastic little story. The characterization is amazing, and the tiny details that make the story are sure handed and eloquent: salted sunflower seeds, the details of the game in Houston, the heartbreak of his father's tiny belongings.

Thank you, Pecman, for bringing this to my attention.


Link to comment

I echo Pecman on this one, and AJ. It should be a story everyone reads asap. Wonderfully done. I could barely stop reading it in order to deal with the essentials of living.

Link to comment
Details, details! Who the F cares, as long as it's a terrific story?

Regardless of when it was written, this novel was really beautifully done...And the quality of the writing, particularly in the last chapter, was really poetic and heartfelt.

THANK YOU, PECMAN, for bringing this story to my attention!

The writer tells a story in a manner of a Jean Shepherd or Bill Bryson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Shepherd, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bryson

BTW, I've just started Bill Bryson's newest book, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir (2006).

It's a shame that "The Luckiest Summer" is buried in the Adult/Youth section of Nifty. I almost never go there for stories. In fact, the last time I perused the listings, there was a story called "In Your Country's Service" that came across as a training manual for NAMBLA.

"The Luckiest Summer" is a marvelous, tender story that explores the mind of a 13-year old going through challenges of his mom and dad splitting up. At first - for a few chapters - I was irritated at the main character. Then, I realized what the writer had done. He presented the thoughts, insecurites and attitudes of a young teen in transition. Wow! He succeeded.

Here is just one part of a paragraph as a sample of the author's way of communicating emotion of a 13-year-old guy who's come to some initial conclusions about his sexual orientation:


"One second my mind was racing, and the question of whether or not I should kiss him was knocking around in my head at a dizzying rate, and the next second, our lips were pressed together and my hands were cupping the sides of his face; the transition was so flawless it was as if I'd been preparing for the moment all my life..."

This story really deserves your attention.

Jack :icon10:

Link to comment

Hi, Jack. Yeah, I agree 100% with what you said. The author really pulls off a very poignant, wistful kind of quality in the story, and I admire what he (or she) did very much.

Here's a paragraph from the final chapter:

"There was something special about the path to Brad's house, the grass under my feet, long and spindly until I got to his yard, where they actually kept it freshly cut. I could close my eyes and know when I had crossed the boundary. Even the air smelled different. I'd walked this path dozens of times before, and each trip had its own set of memories that played fleetingly through my head as I walked. I could see myself at the beginning of summer, a frightened boy terrified of what would become of my parents and their separation. I could see myself later in the summer, shirtless, a box of tator tots in my hand, fueled by a love for tennis (and Brad). Every version of me that walked this path shared only one thing, and that was hope that once I set foot inside that house that everything would be perfect, at least for a little while."

I could post more, but I'm gonna just shut up and let people read the story. It's a really remarkable coming-of-age tale, very well told.

BTW: I also really enjoyed Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is a dynamite read, one I've recommended to a dozen friends of mine.

Link to comment
Holey moley, this is the best damned story I've read all year -- and that goes for published fiction and Net fiction combined.

I normally stay away from the Nifty "Adult-Youth" stories, if we had one!

I gotta tell you, ONLY because it was you, did I venture into A/Y because that's one place I don't go. I will tell you that I really, really liked it. The characterizations were great. The story was okay, but it wasn't the best thing all year but it was top-ten for sure. I like our resident Mr. Parker's works better. Don't ask me why, but it's the feel of them.

But this is a worthy effort. I certainly doesn't belong in A/Y because there's no A/Y in it. It deserves to be read by everyone.

So let me second Mr. Pecman: if you, like many here, avoid the A/Y section due to its often creepy content* this one is definitely not going to offend anyone here.

* There is no case when a 50 year old guy and a 10 year old kid should be involved in a sexual relationship. Sorry. I ain't buying it. It creeps me out.

Link to comment
There is no case when a 50 year old guy and a 10 year old kid should be involved in a sexual relationship.

Hey, tell that to Michael Jackson! But ya know... ba-dum-dum... :icon3:

Seriously, I'm gratified that you took my suggestion and read the piece. I was surprised to see that...

:icon1: <spoiler alert here> :icon1:

...when the sex scene almost happens, the older character stops it and gently rebuffs the younger character, which I thought was a very real, very mature, yet sympathetic approach. That was probably what caused the author to submit it in the Adult/Youth category, since it's about a young teenager captivated by an older teen.

But the quality of the writing really impressed me. BTW, so far, the author hasn't responded to my email, which is a pity. He's apparently written just one other Nifty story, "Oversleeping," about an affair between an older brother and a younger brother, but it's much more explicit -- and, frankly, not as well-done. Interesting that the writer has written two stories on similar themes.

Link to comment

I haven't read the story yet, but have added it to my favorites list and will do so when I have a couple moments. Thanks for the recommendation.

And of course thanks to WBMS for his kind words about my writing. I always heard raccoons are not terribly discriminating in their tastes; I guess this is proof positive.

I'd like to take a moment to talk about the comments herein about the stories posted at the A/Y section of Nifty. I posted one there, When He Was Five. It will supposedly be posted here at AD when Prom has finished its run. This seems a good opportunity to discuss why I wrote it, and why it was posted where it was.

I guess like you guys, I was offended when I read a couple stories in that section. They seemed intent upon taking any blame from any adults having sex with kids. They blamed the kids, or somehow tried to make any sex that occured exculpatory. I don't know what world these writers inhabit, but in this one, sex between an adult and a child almost always results in severe mental and physical anguish for the child, sometimes affecting his entire life. Whatever excuses the writers create, they are disingenuous.

After reading a couple of these, I decided I wanted to write a story, and post it to that section, showing what I felt was the proper relationship between a boy and a man, using the background so common in those stories of where the man was in a position of rescuing the boy, then assuming a postion of caring for him. I didn't have any illusions that such a story would have any effect on those who read in this section and felt the stories there were how the world should work, but it made me feel better to think at least there was such a story there that someone could stumble across.

I was a bit surprised with the reaction my story engendered. I was inundated with mail, every bit of it laudatory. I decided that there were other people that looked at the stories there with the same disgust I felt, and were pleased to see a more realistic depiction of what might, could, perhpas would happen if a small boy were scooped out of harms way by a man.


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...