Polito, Frank Anthony. “Band Fags”, Kensington Books, 2008.
Camp Up the Band
Frank Anthony Polito has written the novel “Band Fags” based on his 2001 stage play, “John R.” and it is the story of Jack Paterno, a straight-“A” student and Brad Dayne, his best friend since the second grade. It is a very funny novel that deals with lust and love and how we are defined and confined by our friendships as well as exploring coming-of-age issues and dealing with the end of innocence and the beginning of a new way of life. In fact, the book is more than a novel—it is a look back to the 80’s and an age of innocence. Reading the novel will cause you to reflect back on the best friend you had when you were young and a time that is hard to erase from memory. We have all made the journey and for some of us it was an easy road while for others, like Jack and Brad, it was quite complicated with lots of twists and turns on the highway of life. They found themselves in a quandary of self-discovery in a world that was filled with snags and detours.
The novel is set in Hazel Park, a suburb of Detroit during the mid-1980’s. Brad and Jack seemed to have nothing in common other than playing in the Varsity band but as they go through junior high and high school together, they discover that there is something else aside from band that keeps them together
What a great book for summer this is. It is a look at friendship between two boys who want to find themselves without losing each other. “Band Fags” is sexy and funny and filled with charm and sensitivity. The dialog is perfect, the characters are loveable and the story cannot be beat for a light read that will make you forget the heat of summer and remind you of the warmth of first love.