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Cody, or as its author wanted to title it, and as he did in the reprint edition, Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada, is at the same time one of the most easy and most difficult novel I have read. Easy because you fall in love for all the characters, Trotsky, Cody, Mark, Freddy, Christian, Flipping, Sarah, all of them so real and simple that they can be your high school mate, your neighbour, your brother; easy because, despite being written in an almost immaculate style (if not perfect at all), it’s not boring or pedantic, and it calls both to young adult than adult readers. Difficult because it’s one of the saddest novel I have ever read, but it’s a strange type of “sad”, I’m not crying, as often do when I’m moved by a novel, it’s more like clamp around the heart, a feeling I think will remain long after I put down this book.

I knew this was not an happily ever after novel, I was not expecting it, but the range of reviews run from nice to awesome, so I had to read it. And really I’m happy, it was worth the experience; plus for most of the book, even if knowing, I had not the feeling of imminent drama, the mood was really in line with the story, they were teenagers we were talking about, and as teenagers they behaved. In some point slightly funny, in some other very romantic and sometime even a little bit sexy, I really forgot that I was supposed to wait for a tragedy to strike.

Trotsky is in love with Cody, but Cody is straight. This is not an unrequited love, since even if Trotsky is not able to realize his love for Cody, they nevertheless build a strong relationship, something that is for sure more than friendship. Plus Cody is really the epitome of best friend, someone that will be always there when you need you most, and that will arrive to do everything to bring you comfort. Something that I like of Cody is that I think he was confident of his sexuality, and so not “threatened” by the fact that someone could be gay; even before Trotsky, Cody had a bond with Christian, who is openly gay, and he doesn’t question him or Flipping, Christian’s friend and maybe lover. The bond between Trotsky and Cody is strong, a bond probably stronger than love.

Trotsky will find love in the arms of Mark, his little brother’s best friend. Mark is 14 years old against Trotsky 17, but he is way more experienced on a sexual level. It’s Mark that seduces Trotsky, and it’s at the same time an healing and learning sex. Healing because it allows Trotsky to balance his relationship with Cody, learning because it gives him a piece of him that was essential for his growing, something he would not be able to find with Cody. Both Cody than Mark are essential to Trotsky’s development into a man and I agree with another reviewer who was hoping for Keith Hale to write a novel about an adult Trotsky; sadly I don’t think it’s in the stars and to whom wants to know what happened to Trotsky, I think the only way is to imagine, he is maybe a poet, he is maybe a teacher, he is maybe an activist… in a way or the other I think he made his own all the teachings he received from Christian, Mark, Freddy, Cody and all the wonderful soul he met the year when he was seventeen.

Amazon: Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada
Amazon Kindle: Clicking Beat on the Brink of Nada
Paperback: 190 pages
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 19, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141965991X
ISBN-13: 978-1419659911

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