Review of Florian’s Boys, Matt Browne

Originally published on Reedsy Discovery. 

Florian’s Boys is a bizarre, coming of age story which explores the potency of history, loneliness and the desire to belong in the world.

It focuses on the university experience of James Burrows, a history student who loses his best friend Jack to a girl and struggles to find love and lust himself. Instead, he finds Florian. A dashing young gentleman who lives in the past with the hope to change the future.

James swiftly becomes captivated by Florian’s ability to make everything right in the world. His passion for the impossible is seductive and addictive. It is the frightening reality of how easily master manipulators can radicalise and galvanise thought processes and movements.

Despite the hedonism and downright bizarre it is a thinly veiled warning about the 21st century. Browne’s story reminds us that coups, revolutions and acts of terrorism are not modern but permeate every epoch of history. But, in our technological age, the dark side of humanity is even closer to home than it used to be; we can no longer squeeze our eyes shut and wait for it all to end. Thus, the protagonist’s rite of passage to ‘come of age’ is one which ends up blowing his whole life wide open, rather than just being a Caulfield weekend in New York.


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