Fruit_FINAL_COVERI just spent a good deal of my travel time this Christmas reading the first of five CBC Radio Canada reads novels – “Fruit” by Brian Francis. The novel is piercingly hilarious, making for several embarrassing real-life LOL moments on the flight. Basically the novel is the universal story of a gay teenage cross-dressing boy named Peter, with body image issues, talking nipples and various awkward obsessions with his gym teachers, neighbors and classmates.

Underlying the humour of the novel is the striking intimacy we are able to achieve with Peter. As we get to know his quirky over-reactions and subtle personal coping mechanisms (he tapes his nipples down to both hide them and keep them quiet), we are dragged into Peter’s awkwardness. There are several moments of cringe and a few of pity as we come to understand the complexities that Peter must come to terms with.

Here are couple of quotes to motivate you to read more…

“I was getting so dizzy that it felt like I was on a Tilt-a-Whil. If what Daniela said was true, then maybe the Virgin [Mary] had come to heal my nipples.”

“Nancy and I were sitting there and I dropped a Cheezie. So I bent down to pick it up and as I grabbed the Cheezie, I looked up and caught Nancy looking down my top. She did it really quickly, but I’m pretty sure of it. It takes a lot to pull the wool over my eyes. I was wearing one of my old sweatshirts with a loose neck so she could’ve seen my nipples very easily. I sat back up and pressed on of the couch pillows against my chest. Nancy coughed, looked at the living room clock, and started working on a new row of Fudgee-Os. She wasn’t going to admit seeing my nipples, so I sent her a mental telepathy message.”

“I’m looking forward to winning the food basket,” Daniela said, picking a scab off her knee. “Nutella for days.”

You can get more information on the novel from ecw press.

For more info about Canada reads visit the CBC website.