Adam Mars-Jones

Adam Mars-Jones

Box Hill is Adam Mars-Jones’s first novel in a decade. His collection of stories Lantern Lecture won a 1982 Somerset Maugham Award, and he has since published a debut novel, Pilcrow (2008), and a second novel, Cedilla (2011). Other books include Noriko Smiling (2011, focused on Yasujiro Ozu), a memoir, Kid Gloves (2015), and a selection of film writings, Second Sight (2019). He writes book reviews for the Observer and the London Review of Books.

Box Hill

Fiction by Adam Mars-Jones

In Box Hill, a vivid coming-of-age novel, a young man suddenly wakes up to his gay self—on his eighteenth birthday, when he receives the best gift ever: love and sex. In the woodsy cruising grounds of Box Hill, chubby Colin literally stumbles over glamorous Ray—ten years older, leather-clad, cool, handsome, a biker, and a top. (Colin, if largely unformed, is nevertheless decidedly a bottom.) Colin narrates his love—conveying how mind-blowing being with Ray is—in comically humble-pie terms.…
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Mars-Jones’ trim, poignant novel humanizes the intricacies of a dominant-submissive gay relationship…. As the narrator says, “What I saw of his life was about excitement, about magic,” a spell that will fall on readers, too.
Kirkus (starred)
I very much enjoyed Box Hill. It is a characteristic Mars-Jones mixture of the shocking, the endearing, the funny, and the sad, with an unforgettable narrator. The sociological detail is as ever acutely enduring.
—Margaret Drabble
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