Book Review: The Secret Fruit Of Peter Paddington [AKA ‘Fruit”] by Brian Francis
(Multiple covers AND titles!)
I found this book during my hunt for queer Canadian literature. The description, quite simply, made it too sound too bizarre to pass up:
Thirteen-year-old Peter Paddington is overweight, the subject of his classmates’ ridicule, and the victim of too many bad movie-of-the-week storylines. When his nipples begin speaking to him one day and inform him of their diabolical plan to expose his secret desires, Peter finds himself cornered in a world that seems to have no tolerance for difference. Peter’s only solace is “The Bedtime Movies” – perfect-world (*copied from the link below)
WorldCat lists the genre as Juvenile Fiction, but I totally disagree. Sure, juveniles could read it, and they might like it, and everything would be ok. But this is kind of a coming of age novel (prominently about being gay), and there is so much delightful dramatic irony! Kids in the junior high age range would totally miss that deliciousness (and they’d miss out on the 1980’s references).
It’s a good little book. The author is really clever, Peter (in his comic innocence) is likable, the story keeps moving with something new every few pages, and the line between fantasy and reality is often transcended, perhaps suggesting that it’s unnecessary for us to try to fit ourselves into other people’s reality.
Find a copy here