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100 Boyfriends

9780374722470 fc
Paperback, MCD × FSGO, 2021
200078380

Brontez Purnell

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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Longlisted for the 2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. "This hurricane of delirious, lonely, lewd tales is a taxonomy and grand unified theory of the boyfriend, in every tense." --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

"I loved this book--raunchy, irreverent, deliberate, sexy, angry, and tender, in its own way." --Roxane Gay


An irrerverent, sensitive, and inimitable look at gay dysfunction through the eyes of a cult hero

Transgressive, foulmouthed, and brutally funny, Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends is a revelatory spiral into the imperfect lives of queer men desperately fighting the urge to self-sabotage. As they tiptoe through minefields of romantic, substance-fueled misadventure—from dirty warehouses and gentrified bars in Oakland to desolate farm towns in Alabama—Purnell’s characters strive for belonging in a world that dismisses them for being Black, broke, and queer. In spite of it—or perhaps because of it—they shine.

Armed with a deadpan wit, Purnell finds humor in even the darkest of nadirs with the peerless zeal, insight, and horniness of a gay punk messiah. Together, the slice-of-life tales that writhe within 100 Boyfriends are an inimitable tour of an unexposed queer underbelly. Holding them together is the vision of an iconoclastic storyteller, as fearless as he is human.

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  • "This hurricane of delirious, lonely, lewd tales is a taxonomy and grand unified theory of the boyfriend, in every tense . . . Paragraphs run quick and cool, like stacked ice cubes . . . [a] feeling of eternal recurrence is beautifully by design, it is the very argument of the book . . . All these desires, these imperatives, lodge themselves into that little word 'boyfriend,' into fantasies of men past and present, into those ghosts, who prove so necessary." --Parul Sehgal, The New York Times"100 Boyfriends is a collection of short stories so wrigglingly alive and counterculturally refreshing that it deserves a new noun

    a pod of whales, a murder of crows, a jubilee of Brontez Purnell stories? I’d wager that he sets down the best first lines of any living writer."
  • "100 Boyfriends is a collection of short stories so wrigglingly alive and counterculturally refreshing that it deserves a new noun

    a pod of whales, a murder of crows, a jubilee of Brontez Purnell stories? I’d wager that he sets down the best first lines of any living writer."
  • No one writes like Brontez Purnell. It’s not just that he is hilariously irreverent, which he is, but that he reserves reverence for that which is deserving. 100 Boyfriends is like a good lover, at turns vulgar and vulnerable, dirty and desperate, and always grinding toward magic.


    Justin Torres, author of We the Animals


  • Each story in 100 Boyfriends is a minor eclipse: stunning in scope, technically blinding, and entirely miraculous. I laughed and I cried and I laughed until I cried— Brontez Purnell is a marvel.


    Bryan Washington, author of Memorial

  • Brontez Purnell’s 100 Boyfriends is a symphony of sex, trouble and wisdom—as if the composer had sex with each member of the orchestra by way of getting it right. An electric prismatic genre-defying punk literary flight, Purnell is twirling here— I loved every page.


    Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

  • In the vast history of the universe there is only one Brontez Purnell, and thank god we get him. From cruising to crushes, cumming to closure, 100 Boyfriends is a mandatory read for the funny-sexy lit freaks among us—a candy box of Euro boys and Daddies, blue pills and satanic exes—all told in an addictively-delicious voice by a writer who is somehow both wildly cool and deprecatingly humble at the same time.


    Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces