A Literary Hub Best Book of Year * A Crime Reads Best Debut of the Year * A Newsweek 25 Best Fall Books * A Philadelphia Inquirer 10 Big Books for the Fall * An O Magazine.com LGBTQ Books That Are Changing the Literary Landscape in 2020 Selection * An Electric Lit Most Anticipated Debut of the Second Half of 2020 * A Paperback Paris Best New LGBTQ+ Books To Read This Year Selection * A Passport Best Book of the Month
The Secret History meets Lie with Me in Micah Nemerever's compulsively readable 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.