New Yorker, Books
Briefly Noted, November 6, 2017
"The Hue and Cry at Our House, by Benjamin Taylor (Penguin). A brush with history looms over this memoir: in November, 1963, the author, then a sixth grader in Fort Worth, shook hands with President Kennedy mere hours before his assassination. Confining his narrative to the year that followed, Taylor evokes both the era and the awkwardness of his younger self—asthmatic, gay, and displaying early signs of Asperger’s. He comes across as comically harried by fate; his self-pity leads to vengeful fantasies and outbursts, as when he hurls a chair at a doctor who suggests surgery to rectify his penchant for walking on tiptoe. He finds comfort in imaginative rituals, such as holding a funeral for a bookmark, and his hero is Huck Finn, for his embrace of an “adulterated nature.”"