There is so much awesome packed into Big Boy by Ruthie Knox that I’m not even sure where to start. A novella with less than 70 pages left me completely blown away by the characterization, setting and plot. This sucker might be short, but it is nothing if not excellent.
Plain, train, automobile…of all the different modes of transportation, which do you think is the sexiest? If you answered train: you are correct. (Your hint was the big ass train on the book cover.) Forget about the reality of trains for a minute and think about the idea of them. I think back to a time when woman wore smart little hats and men actually polished their shoes. The idea of trains is timeless, classy…and if you pick up Big Boy, really really sexy.
Mandy met a guy on an online dating service and ends up with a standing monthly date with a stranger – she doesn’t even know the guy’s real name! So, before you start thinking that this sounds totally sketchy, wait for the best part. The role-playing! And not in a creepy be-my-daddy-spank-my-leather kind of way. In a very cool vintagey throwback way with high-waisted pants, pocket squares and flapper fringe. Even smearing on coal dust for authenticity isn’t out of the question. You WISH your booty calls were this awesome.
Eventually though, all good things come to an end. Their fantasy world explodes when it intersects with real life – in come the secrets, kids and all the other things they can no longer hide from.
But what happens if Mandy isn’t ready to give up her stranger, even without the fantasy? I mean, Jesus. Who would give up a guy who wants to dress up like a newsboy from the 1950s to get it on in an old train car? (Be honest, now.)
I was so invested in the characters in Big Boy, you guys. I wanted so badly for them to be together – really together. Sometimes the writing really gripped at me.
I’m grateful—so grateful—that he doesn’t act as though we’ve never met. Which, it occurs to me, is setting the bar a little low.
Seriously. I love how nothing in this story makes any logical sense – but it all comes together so beautifully anyway. This is a seriously wonderful story, in a very Calgon-take-me-away kind of way where trains make booty calls classy and all you want is for two strangers to fall in love.
To Sum it Up:
- This wonderful, touching, complicated story is all wrapped into a small little novella, you guys. Short, cheap and WORTH IT.
- Trains, man. They can make anything seem classy and old-world. I absolutely adore how atmospheric Big Boy is.
- Sexiness aside, there is still a lot of substance to be found in the real lives of our characters.