Daniel Handler with ALL THE DIRTY PARTS (in conversation with William Boyle)
From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.
Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. “Let me put it this way,” he says. “Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.”
Cole fantasizes about whomever he’s looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls—girls who seem to enjoy it at the time and seem to feel bad about it afterwards. Cole is getting a reputation around school—a not-quite-savory one—which leaves him adrift and hanging out with his best friend. Something startling begins to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time. And then he meets Grisaille.
All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on the varied and ribald world of teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where queer can be as fluid as consent, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters recalling Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation or Mary Robison’s Why Did I Ever, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, and always intoxicating portrait of an age in which the whole world is tilted through the lens of sex. “There are love stories galore,” Cole tells us, “and we all know them. This isn’t that. The story I’m typing is all the dirty parts.”
About the Author
Daniel Handler is the author of the novels We Are Pirates, The Basic Eight, Watch Your Mouth, Adverbs, and Why We Broke Up, a 2012 Michael L. Printz Honor Book. As Lemony Snicket, he is responsible for many books for children, including the thirteen-volume sequence A Series of Unfortunate Events and the four-book series All the Wrong Questions. He is married to the illustrator Lisa Brown, and lives with her and their son in San Francisco.