Publisher: Influx Press
Publication Date: 23rd July 2020
When the lovely Jordan Taylor Jones sent me a copy of Boy Parts by Eliza Clark I was proper chuffed. I can’t remember where I’d seen it talked about but there was a buzz around it, as there has been for months, which has reached fever pitch over the last month or so, and RIGHTLY SO.
When reading this book I remember tweeting that the whole experience was like having a shot of pure adrenaline straight in the arse cheek and I think a lot of us who have read this book are still BUZZING OFF OUR TITS on this adrenaline injection.
So what do we have here then?
Irina is a photographer from Newcastle, taking a sabbatical from her bar job after an incident in which she gets punched square in the face by the mother of one of her photography subjects.
Because yes, Irina has a very distinct talent for photographing ‘ordinary’ looking men in sexually explicit poses and scenarios. She scouts men and boys from around her in her everyday life, the supermarket, bars etc and approaches them to pose for her. Irina has a way of luring people in and she seems to have many people orbiting around her and her great talent.
This at times is unfathomable given Irina’s acerbic, sharp and often mean behaviour, but she really does draw people into her world. When she’s offered an exhibition at a top London gallery she starts to look back through her previous portfolio of work and we see shots and memories of previous lovers and complete strangers that she has photographed in the past which leads her down a very dark road of self destruction.
Irina has a friend and ex lover called Flo who is one such person who orbits Irina’s world. Flo is utterly obsessed with Irina and writes a ‘secret’ blog based around her unrequited love for Irina or ‘Rina’ as she affectionately terms her. Irina for her part capitalises on this weakness of Flo’s and uses her love for her to push her buttons.
Irina is one of those protagonists who explodes into your psyche by welcoming you into her own despite it being so very dark. She is awful at times, JUST AWFUL and there were points where I wanted to look away but JUST COULDN’T DO IT.
She is a woman I will never ever forget due to her no bullshit attitude and her propensity to ride absolutely fucking roughshod over everyone!
If you haven’t guessed already, Boy Parts is grim, it’s hilarious, it’s dark as you like and it’s fizzing with urgent life. It’s base, it’s disgusting, it punches low and it punches hard and I effin loved it!
Of course the true icing on the cake is that Eliza Clarke is a northern writer and as you know I’m a northern bird who loves to shout about the talent we have up here. Eliza Clark is just nailing it with this book and not only that she is such a strong personality over on Twitter, she makes my day over there!
I feel like I always say that I’m looking forward to whatever a good author is going to produce next but in this case I’m DOUBLE EXCITED ON SPEED (oh yes, there’s drugs in this book OF COURSE) to see what brilliant disgustingness Eliza Clark births next….
If you want a book to punch you in the gut and make your blood fizz, BOY PARTS IS IT. I urge you to give it a whirl. I’ve seen nothing but effusive praise for this book, and I mean that, not a bad word has been said. Eliza Clarke has burst her way into everyone’s brains with this debut novel and none of us will ever be the same again.
Thank you so much to Jordan Taylor Jones and Influx Press for my review copy.
See you all soon.
Amanda – Bookish Chat xx