A lonely young American man with a troubled family history becomes involved with a male prostitute in Bulgaria. An atmosphere of menace looms over all their encounters – and the writing in these passages is alive and makes for compulsive reading. A very sad read which combined with the explicit sex makes it pretty challenging. Has garnered lots of attention and a number of literary prizes.
As was always the case during our time together, I was frustrated by the fragments that were all I could understand of his stories, both because of my poor Bulgarian and because he kept speaking in a kind of code, so that I seldom understood precisely the nature of the relationships he described or why they ended as they did. Never before had I met anyone who combined such transparency(or the semblance of transparency) with such mystery, so that he seemed at once overexposed and hidden behind impervious defenses.