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Summary

An O Magazine LGBTQ Book that Is Changing the Literary Landscape in 2020 

An Electric Lit Most Anticipated Debut of the Second Half of 2020 

The Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year 

Paperback Paris Best New LGBTQ+ Books to Read This Year Selection

The Secret History meets Lie with Me in Micah Nemerever's compulsively enjoyable debut novel - a feverishly taut Hitchcockian story about two college students, each with his own troubled past, whose escalating obsession with one another leads to an act of unspeakable violence.

When Paul enters university in early 1970s Pittsburgh, it’s with the hope of moving past the recent death of his father. Sensitive, insecure, and incomprehensible to his grieving family, Paul feels isolated and alone. When he meets the worldly Julian in his freshman ethics class, Paul is immediately drawn to his classmate’s effortless charm.

Paul sees Julian as his sole intellectual equal — an ally against the conventional world he finds so suffocating. Paul will stop at nothing to prove himself worthy of their friendship, because with Julian life is more invigorating than Paul could ever have imagined. But as charismatic as he can choose to be, Julian is also volatile and capriciously cruel, and Paul becomes increasingly afraid that he can never live up to what Julian expects of him.

As their friendship spirals into all-consuming intimacy, they each learn the lengths to which the other will go in order to stay together, their obsession ultimately hurtling them toward an act of irrevocable violence.

Unfolding with a propulsive ferocity, These Violent Delights is an exquisitely plotted excavation of the depths of human desire and the darkness it can bring forth in us.

©2020 Micah Nemerever (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about These Violent Delights

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beautifully written and fantastically narrated

A captivating listen, the story was beautifully designed, and the characters completely relatable in their fallibility.
The narration absolutely makes the story, and the two main characters have completely distinct personalities simply down to their voicing. Absolutely recommend!

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  • Casey
  • 18-10-20

Rough and Beautiful. A metaphor for some that you won’t soon forget.

I devoured this book in 2 days, and boy was it rough and beautiful. I’m not sure it would be possible to read this slowly. The story is tight, tense and claustrophobic and captures gay teenage emotions, insecure love and obsession, in a way and with a metaphor, that I haven’t seen before. It’s not an easy read; the pain is hard to swallow for the long stretches in the middle of this book but I dare you not to finish and get the release of the ending. The characters emotions are too familiar in many instances and the knifes edge of being completely consumed and out of control because of alienation and pain, I believe, will be all too familiar to LGBTQ readers from a certain time and place.

The narration from Michael Crouch, one of the best around I believe, captures the constrained wild and pain of Paul so perfectly I couldn’t imagine this book without his voice- it’s so tightly interwoven that it became the book as so rarely happens when narrator and story become one. I’m not sure I could’ve managed this book as well had it not been for the connection Mr. Crouch facilitated for the reader.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Abby
  • 18-06-21

Excellent book. Hated it.

F*cking miserable. Why do I keep reading literary fiction? Why why why why why why

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lyle Davis
  • 05-08-21

One of the best books I've ever read.

I rarely give anything 5 stars, but this book was perfectly written; a true masterpiece. It made me laugh and cry within the same paragraph and I was able to empathize with the characters. The turbulent romance between the boys was so intricate in its detail yet written broadly enough that nearly anyone can relate. The intimate moments between the boys are not lascivious in their detail, but instead display the depth of emotion that those moments embody.
In addition, the narrator captured the very subtlety that the words were meant to convey. His voice was soothing, yet raw in its passion.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan
  • 25-07-21

“A pair of sunflowers who each believed the other was the sun.”

Perfectly written and expertly narrated, this is likely the most intensely psychological book I’ve experienced in at least a decade. I became utterly and completely obsessed with this novel and with both the protagonist and the antagonist, because both of them pulled me in so deftly that I could never discover who was which. Abhorrent in its beauty and sublime in its ugliness, every single word is woven with meaning and allusion and deception and with the deepest possible love imaginable. I went back countless times to reabsorb the pain, the power and the passion. This story requires full attention and no distractions in order for the full impact of its profundity to be felt.

When I finished it, I sat quietly with a glass of bourbon and listened to the beautiful silence and serenity of the world around me. It took me a view hours to fully understand that the story had ended…

…and then I started it from the beginning again. It’s hard to leave the emotional peaks and valleys behind.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy B.
  • 10-06-21

A bit dark for me

An amazing listen that envelopes you in the world of Julian and Pablo. And what a dark world it is. We've all had dark relationships and this one takes it to another level. The love story is real, as real as it can be from 2 souls that both have monumental issues. I kept wondering why neither family put either boy in counseling. But that would have prolonged the inevitable. I did thoroughly enjoy this book. A bit cerebral in parts for some of my friends. And too dark in the late middle for me to listen to close to bedtime without getting nightmares. Though to have that effect and be so submersive is the mark of a great story.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-20

Read Cautiously

Beautiful and disturbing. It ripped my heart out. It's the kind of book you return to hoping for a better end game.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tracie Rivas
  • 06-03-21

Haunting

Haunting. Chilling. A hard, but well worth it read. I found myself having to stop every so often to take a break. This was very heavy material that made my heart ache. It was difficult to get through in the sense that this is such an emotional rollercoaster and you need time to meditate and absorb what you are experiencing. This book will stay with you long after you have finished it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jay park
  • 19-01-21

A first love that spirals down a feedback loop of trying to be worthy of love

An excellent listen. Well-narrated. I enjoyed Julian and Paul and watching the shifting dynamic of their relationship. Some incredible moments of raw emotion as the desire to be loved distorts each character. A compelling theme that holds true to the books end. Will struggle to find a next read that is so gripping. Emotional. Their relationship is so wrong when observed from the outside but still feels so realistic and worth having when seen through their eyes. Every character they interact with feels real and is given some degree of depth. Would love a sequel that is the happy ending version of them developing a healthy relationship with boundaries/ respect/ conditionless love.

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  • Lewis Teeter
  • 23-10-20

LOVED this book

My only disappointment related to this book is that it's a first book so I can't yet read another by this amazing author. Cleverly written and suspenseful from the first chapter. Written by an obviously bright young person, I was interested enough to do a bit of research on the author where I learned Nemerever's MA thesis in art history was Gender Anxiety in the Art of the Weimar Republic. Though perhaps a bit esoteric it speaks of a detail oriented mind that thinks outside the box. The book's story echoes the relationship of murderers Leopold and Loeb and explores the inner workings of how a relationship can take such a dark turn. At the same time it captures perfectly what it is like to be in love. A line from the book describing the two main characters is one of my favorites. "All they were, all they ever had been was a pair of sunflowers who each believed the other was the sun". I love finding a book that has me reaching for a pen to write down passages I like. This one left me with quite a stack of index cards. If one's mind is too closed to enjoy a story about two young men in love chances are they wouldn't enjoy the beautiful prose either which reminds me of another favorite line. "He hated her hopelessly for refusing to deserve this".

2 people found this helpful

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  • S. Amen
  • 11-04-22

Beautifully written, but hard to recommend

Initially I was all in on the story. I love the author’s writing style and the deep examination of the characters’ emotions and relationships. The restraint and attention to detail surrounding Paul and Julian’s relationship is admirable, and I appreciate an LGBTQ+ book that isn’t the stereotypical unlikely couple story (shy but beautiful boy meets brash jock who just happens to harbor gay feelings), but the book started to feel like work. I found myself not wanting to ruin a good mood by listening to it. I’m also very confused by the ending (and it seems like others on the internet feel the same).