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The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted to Have Sex
The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted to Have Sex

The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted to Have Sex

The Memoir of a Fat Kid


192 Pages, 5.25 x 8.25

Formats: Trade Paper, Mobipocket, PDF, EPUB

Trade Paper, $16.00 (US $16.00) (CA $22.00)

Publication Date: December 2017

ISBN 9780996864954

Rights: US & CA

Elephant Rock Productions, Inc. (Dec 2017)
Elephant Rock Books


eBook Editions Available

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In his first memoir, John gives readers an honest and often mischievous look at his working-class childhood in Midwestern America. This intimate, biting look into John's transient family takes readers through two states, five grade schools, 210 pounds, and a lifetime of insecurity. Like Dickens's David Copperfield, he hopes to be the hero of his own story, but unlike David Copperfield, he is a fat boy who breaks kids' noses in karate and has fantasies of living in a nudist camp with his kindergarten teacher. He saves his family at age four but unwittingly commits a felony at age eight. From an explosive night living in an Illinois trailer park to tumultuous father-son bonding at the flea market, John gives the skinny on life being fat. Hilarious and poignant, John shows readers that, in the end, remembering one's bitter past can, in fact, be sweet.


"McNally has produced a vivid memoir of growing up in the seventies that might be his best work yet. The consideration he has given to his childhood experiences, to his family history, to his faults and his fascinations, is quick-witted and unsparing."  —Owen King, author, Double Feature

"Come for the story but stay for the prose. The book's structure is remarkable and innovative. John McNally has the rare skill of making difficult work look easy. This book will become a classic of memoir."  —Chris Offutt, author, My Father, the Pornographer

"John McNally's funny and heart-clenchingly sincere new memoir is such a familiar heartbreak that at times I had to set the book down and remedy my own past against it . . . but McNally ultimately discovers how mysteries of the flesh and heart, once solved, can never truly satisfy the urge from whence they came."  —Deborah Reed, author, Things We Set on Fire

"This is a horror story recounted by the finest of jesters in the court of the seventies and eighties which McNally delivers in the stunned and astute voice of a boy who just wants … well you know what he wants."  —Bruce Holbert, author, Lonesome Animals

"McNally comes across as a person who is fully comfortable with himself and the twisty mess that is being an imperfect person living in an imperfect world. Imbued with bald pain, pleasure, humor, and grace, McNally's lean prose and unflinching insights make for a delightful read." —April Line, Hippocampus Magazine

"At times poignant, at times laugh-out-loud funny, The Boy Who Really, Really Wanted To Have Sex is thoroughly engaging from cover to cover and highly recommended." —Midwest Book Review

Author Biography

John McNally is the author of After the Workshop, America's Report Card, and The Book of Ralph. His work has appeared in over a hundred publications, including The Sun, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Washington Post. He divides his time between Lafayette, Louisiana and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.