Best Houston Book (2008)

The Memoirs of a ­Beautiful Boy by ­Robert Leleux

Robert Leleux's grandmother told him, "Sad lives make funny people." If that's true, Leleux must have had a very, very sad life. His book, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, is a giddy, sometimes hysterical (in both the funny and the not-funny way) coming-of-age story. The young Leleux didn't know he was gay; thankfully, his mother did, hence the frequent shopping trips to Neiman Marcus (which she knowingly considered "gay school"). There are also trips to the medical center for emergency plastic surgery (breast implants that she didn't want to tell him about) and regularly scheduled hysterics. In one bit, Leleux writes: "'I'm working very hard,' I said, 'to decide whether or not you're having a nervous breakdown. Or if you've always been crazy, and I'm just now waking up to it.'" With his larger-than-life mother focused on getting a rich new husband, Leleux is left on his own to interpret the world. What he comes up with is a wonderful, touching and very funny book.


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