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A Perfect Scar and Other Stories Paperback – May 1 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In his novel THROUGH IT CAME BRIGHT COLORS, Healey demonstrated his affinity for creating strong, identifiable characters in telling the claustrophobic tale of a love affair between two men living together in a rundown Tenderloin hotel, one a boy from a local family who leaves his suburban family to find authenticity in urban squalor, the other a victim of sexual and emotional trauma, a boy ruined before his time. Here something of that book's purity and passion leaks through into the messy lives of Healey's denizens, irradiating even the worst imaginable events with a soft atomic glow, like Area 51. In the title tale, a fellow rather like Neill in BRIGHT COLORS encounters a Vietnamese-born American gangster called Tran and, sensationally enough, becomes his sex slave, entering the private world of organized street crime via the prostate gland. It's a tough, savvy, nonchalant look at technologies of addiction, and the lengths you'll stoop to when you just got to have it.
At the opposite pole, so to speak, is the magic fabulism of "Faun," in which a little boy, Gilberto, the pride and joy of his extended family, grows up and things get a little hairy shall we say, and the nubs of horns start appearing under his hairline, and his haunches glossy and soon enough, anyone encountering him starts feeling the sap of spring rush through their bloodstream. But it's not easy being a faun and eventually you realize you have to leave middle school behind and start looking for Walt Whitman and the forests of Arcady. Not all of Healey's experiments in this vein are as successful as Faun; I never wound up buying the rollicking Barbary Coast adventure of "Captain Jinx" nor the Moll Flandersesque voice of its narrator. "The human heart knows a thing or two," she tells us, "that the sorry mind can never comprehend." Wait--didn't JT Leroy say that? And yet one applauds Healey's experiments in form and genre as one would applaud the annual Fourth of July firework show. I hope he continues to light up the sky for generations to come!
Randomly, this minute, I opened up "A Perfect Scar" and my eyes fell on the following passage:
'Underneath, just below his left nipple, was the biohazard symbol. What could I say? Nice? I love it? I just nodded to show I understood his meaning.'
He is brilliant and deep and casual and he drives me crazy and makes me feel more human and sane all at once. Read his stories and feel your heart expand . . . connect . . . and mend.