The Invisible Boys of Paul Street

During my recent discussions on the sad state of affairs when it comes to literature written for discerning boys somebody recommended a useful corrective called The Paul Street Boys. It’s always great when a bitch-fest against modernity turns into a praise-fest for a book written before 1940, and so I set out to experience the book for myself.  Here’s a brief synopsis:

The war between two groups of Hungarian boys living in Budapest. One with Hungarian national colours (red, white, green) is defending the square from redshirts (from Garibaldi’s redshirts), who want to occupy the square.

But this line sums up the secret ingredient this book has that today’s boys literature lacks: “A very moving story about boys growing up and values of friends and respect for leadership.”

The reviews for this novel are rave. I’m seeing a lot of people calling it the best boys book ever written. Not the bespectacled cat-ladies who run libraries and wouldn’t know the first thing about boys if you hammered it through their wine-soaked skulls with a hammer, but from genuine readers. The kind of readers who appreciate books as a window into the soul of their culture. The kind of readers who don’t view books as weapons meant to bludgeon political foes or medicine meant to be choked down until you learn to love it. Rather, the kind of people who just want a bit of drama and a glimpse into the best that mankind has to offer, with maybe a touch of wisdom added to it.

Those books don’t make the rounds much these days. Too dangerous, you see.

The silence among the book sellers, and even Project Gutenberg, on this one is deafening. It means something. It means the anti-Christian and anti-Western powers are desperately shoving it down the Memory Hole.

Whatever it is those guys don’t want me to have, I’ll take a double.

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