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The perfume burned his eyes

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Average Rating
Akashic Books,
Pub. Date:

"An edgy coming-of-age romp set in New York City." -- Parade magazine , Parade Picks

"Screenwriter and Emmy-winning actor Imperioli's first novel is the atmospheric coming-of-age story of 17-year-old Matthew, whose mother moves them from Queens to a posh apartment in Manhattan in 1976...Matt is not an atypical teenager--think Holden Caulfield without the cynicism--but, often afraid and awkward, he is a reactor, not an actor, until the end of the novel, which, without foreshadowing, comes as a harrowing surprise...Imperioli can definitely write, and he gets high marks for theverisimilitude and empathy that he evokes in this fine crossover novel." -- Booklist, Starred Review

"Imperioli's book follows a Queens teen named Matthew as his shattered family moves from Jackson Heights to Manhattan, where he finds an unlikely mentor in a drug-addled Lou Reed." -- New York Post

"A coming-of-age tale dashed with relatable angst and humor." -- EW.com

"A restless Queens teenager becomes the protégé of music legend Lou Reed in Imperioli's energetic debut novel...Matthew's first-person narrative is full of endearing vulnerability, immediacy, and authenticity. This is a sweet and nostalgic coming-of-age novel." -- Publishers Weekly

"Imperioli's lived-in details about the city help make the world feel realistic...[The novel] is an immersive trip into its narrator's memories of a turbulent time. Some fictional trips into 1970s New York abound with nostalgia; this novel memorably opts for grit and heartbreak." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Imperioli delivers a spot-on coming-of-age novel...A winner." -- Library Journal

"Even though [Lou] Reed looms large throughout--the novel even takes its title from Reed's 'Romeo Had Juliette,' from his 1989 solo album New York --the book is much less about him and more about Matthew's own journey through adolescence in the seedier corners of 1970s New York." -- Stereogum

"Compelling...Lou Reed appears as a major character; he's an unlikely father figure to the teenage protagonist, Matthew, who's trying to find himself in 1976 Manhattan. The iconoclastic--and at the time, troubled--rocker inspires Matthew artistically, even as he coaxes him to walk on the wild side." -- Maclean's

"[Imperioli's] debut novel, The Perfume Burned His Eyes , not only deserves an award for best title, but has garnered praise from Joyce Carol Oates...This should come as no surprise...Bravo!" -- Santa Barbara Magazine

Matthew is a sixteen-year-old living in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1976. After he loses his two most important male role models, his father and grandfather, his mother uses her inheritance to uproot Matthew and herself to a posh apartment building in Manhattan. Although only three miles away from his boyhood home, "the city" is a completely new and strange world to Matthew.

Matthew soon befriends (and becomes a quasi-assistant to) Lou Reed, who lives with his transgender girlfriend Rachel in the same building. The drug-addled, artistic/shamanic musician eventually becomes an unorthodox father figure to Matthew, who finds himself head over heels for the mysterious Veronica, a wise-beyond-her-years girl he meets at his new school.

Written from the point of view of Matthew at age eighteen, two years after the story begins, the novel concludes with an epilogue in the year 2013, three days after Lou Reed's death, with Matthew in his fifties.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c1b94178-af1c-7650-bc1f-7dcadc6bf777
Grouping Title perfume burned his eyes
Grouping Author imperioli michael
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-08-29 10:33:32AM
Last Indexed 2019-09-15 09:06:36AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Imperioli, Michael, 1966-
author_display Imperioli, Michael
available_at_aacpl Broadneck Library
Deale Library
Maryland City at Russett Library
Odenton Library
Severna Park Library
collection_aacpl ADULT
detailed_location_aacpl Broadneck Library - Adult Fiction
Deale Library - Adult Fiction
Maryland City at Russett Library - Adult Fiction
Odenton Library - Adult Fiction
Severna Park Library - Adult Fiction
display_description After the loss of both his father and grandfather, sixteen-year-old Matthew moves from Queens to Manhattan with his mother. There he learns to navigate a new school, a new neighborhood and a neighbor upstairs, Lou Reed.
format_aacpl Book
format_category_aacpl Books
id c1b94178-af1c-7650-bc1f-7dcadc6bf777
isbn 9781617756207
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ils:a1432004 31997100792589 Odenton Library - Adult Fiction FICTION (I) 1 false false On Shelf Oct 01, 2018 WCO
ils:a1432004 31997100792563 Maryland City at Russett Library - Adult Fiction FICTION (I) 1 false false On Shelf Oct 04, 2018 MDC
ils:a1432004 31997100792548 Deale Library - Adult Fiction FICTION (I) 1 false false On Shelf Nov 23, 2018 SCO
ils:a1432004 31997100792555 Broadneck Library - Adult Fiction FICTION (I) 1 false false On Shelf Jan 21, 2019 BDN
itype_aacpl Adult General Fiction
last_indexed 2019-09-15T13:06:36.772Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
literary_form_full Fiction
local_callnumber_aacpl FICTION (I)
owning_library_aacpl Anne Arundel County Public Library
owning_location_aacpl Broadneck Library
Deale Library
Maryland City at Russett Library
Odenton Library
Severna Park Library
primary_isbn 9781617756207
publishDate 2018
Bib IdFormatFormat CategoryEditionLanguagePublisherPublication DatePhysical Description
ils:a1432004 Book Books English Akashic Books, 2018. 253 pages ; 19 cm
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:a1432004 31997100792571 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:a1432004 31997100792589 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:a1432004 31997100792563 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:a1432004 31997100792548 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
ils:a1432004 31997100792555 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true
subject_facet Bildungsromans
First loves -- Fiction
Life change events -- Fiction
Moving, Household -- Fiction
New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction
Nineteen seventies -- Fiction
Reed, Lou -- Fiction
Role models -- Death -- Fiction
Teenage boys -- Fiction
title_display The perfume burned his eyes
title_full The perfume burned his eyes / a novel by Michael Imperioli
title_short The perfume burned his eyes
topic_facet Death
First loves
Life change events
Moving, Household
Nineteen seventies
Reed, Lou
Role models
Teenage boys