Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

Boy Erased

A beautiful, raw and compassionate memoir about identity, love and understanding. Now a major motion picture starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, and Lucas Hedges, directed by Joel Edgerton. “Every sentence of the story will stir your soul” (O Magazine). The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.When Garrard was a nine...

Details Boy Erased

TitleBoy Erased
Release DateMay 10th, 2016
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Lgbt, Biography, Religion

Reviews Boy Erased

  • Elyse Walters
    5 strong stars -- Geeeee!!! I am sorry this took place in the Bay Area!!!! Shame on us for allowing such a 'sick-program'!! THE AUDIOBOOK HELD MY ATTENTION-- I was literally shocked at some of the things that went on in this 12 step program- to FIX GAY PEOPLE! I had NO IDEA that these institutions REALLY existed. Garrard Conley: I'm soooo sorry for what you went through! Your memoir is completely engaging- shocking and heart wrenching-- my god-- ...
  • Thomas
    4.5 starsA compelling, compassionate memoir about Garrard Conley's struggle with his homosexuality while growing up in an ultra-religious town and family. He writes about undergoing ex-gay conversion therapy, disappointing his father - a Baptist pastor - and his church as a whole, and using writing itself to cope with his emotional wounds. Though he tells his story in a consistent personal narrative style, Conley connects his journey to the pain ...
  • JV
    "Anything. I’ll do anything to erase this part of me." There were times I wondered what it feels like to be a cisgender male in our heteronormative society. A part of me yearns for that kind of normality where being heterosexual is the default, but that is not the case for me. Being raised as a Catholic, I have struggled in coming to terms with my own sexuality plus the hullabaloos of being different and gay. The feelings of guilt and shame of ...
  • Justin Tate
    Thank God for Garrard Conley. It must've taken unimaginable strength to write this, to relive the worst of it, and open himself up to the world. It's not a happy story. It's not a story about a boy who had a difficult upbringing but is great now. It's clear from the overt and underlining text that every day is still a challenge. Life gets better, but it doesn't get easy.I understand why some have critiqued the structure of the memoir. It does jum...
  • Glenn Sumi
    This book, an account of Garrard Conley’s experiences in a Southern gay conversion therapy program called Love In Action, was a big disappointment.I’d seen and reviewed the world premiere film adaptation of the book at the Toronto Film Festival, so I was curious to see how it had been adapted to the screen.In this case, the movie, although it shares some structural problems with the book, is much better. It’s got a sharper dramatic arc and ...
  • Shawn Mooney
    I do not come from a fundamentalist Christian background, but as a gay man who has dabbled in queer journalism over the years, I have done quite a bit of reading, research, and writing about the ex-gay movement. It goes without saying that I loath everything about it; I've been delighted to see the various exposes and disbandings of late.So I was very much looking forward to reading this fresh new memoir about a young gay guy in the American Sout...
  • Simon
    Well Garrard Conley's memoir about 'ex-gay' therapy, Boy Erased, is incredible. I've been through all the feelings; horror, sadness, disbelief, joy, hope - the works. One of my Books Of 2016 without a doubt. I want everyone to read it.
  • Gabby
    Well, no surprise here but this book was sad. It’s a true story about a 19 year old gay boy who gets unexpectedly outted to his religious parents and they force him to go to ex gay conversion therapy. I listened to the audiobook for this (which was fantastic by the way) and I was constantly surprised by the horrific things this young man experienced. It makes me sick to my stomach to think these ex gay conversion places existed at all, even as ...
  • Vitor Martins
    Esse é um livro de memórias de um filho de pastor que no início da sua vida adulta foi enviado para um programa de cura gay.Saber que esses relatos são verdadeiros fez o meu coração doer por boa parte da leitura. Não foi fácil. Meu coração doía pensando em milhares de pessoas no mundo que acreditam que precisa ser "curadas" de sua homossexualidade, e doía porque eu lembrava de muitas coisas que vivi. O livro começa um pouco lento, ma...
  • April
    Not sure if it was too long, too boring, too religious, or too repetitive, but I didn't like it...clearly I am in the minority. I just never got a feeling for the character.
  • Roumy Mihaylova
    I had started reading Garrard Conley's beautiful memoir when, one night, I had the strangest dream. I was in a library, and on the highest shelf, the one out of reach, there were piles of different books. I saw three copies of Boy Erased: A Memoir on that highest shelf. When I asked the librarian how I could get one, I was told that if I could jump high enough to reach it, the book would be mine forever. So I started jumping, and jumping, and jum...
  • Eric Hausman-Houston
    I just finished BOY ERASED, and I'm so glad this book is out there. Not only because this horrific story, beautifully written with humor and gut wrenching honesty, is so important to be told, but also because it means this wonderful young man has survived, though with scars that may take a lifetime to heal. I had the good fortune of hearing Garrard discuss BOY ERASED at the The National Arts Club in NYC. His speaks as well as he writes. He's as d...
  • Julie Ehlers
    When I first heard about this book I had a vague feeling that I didn't really need to read it. After all, I was raised Catholic, so I felt like I already knew all about "faith-based" homophobia. After a bit of contemplation, though, I realized that I actually had no idea what goes on in "gay conversion therapy." While I could certainly speculate, in reality everything about it was a mystery to me. So I picked up Boy Erased and decided to find out...
  • Kelly
    I love so much about this book, and am envious of so much. The clear, beautiful sentences that catch you unawares with the emotional depth they contain. The weavy structure. The lack of goopy sentimentality coupled with total emotional vulnerability. The sense of movement throughout, and the sense of capital-G God looming in the cosmic background radiation while all of this goes on. If you may permit me: GC puts the "pow" in powerful.
  • Doug
    Surprised at all the glowing reviews, since this book is unfortunately not only woefully overwritten, but at the same time underdeveloped. It strains for a lyricism that is not only inappropriate for the subject, but actually works against its message. And for a book supposedly focused on the author's experiences with Love in Action (LIA), an ex-gay ministry, that is a rather minor part of the whole, since A. he was only in the program for 8 days...
  • Tyler Goodson
    Boy Erased is the best kind of memoir: one less interested in looking back and arranging the past than in trying to get as close to truth as possible. It's so heartbreaking and affecting because it is never easy, never black and white--you can't help but recognize the humanity in every person involved. Conley's willingness to complicate every issue and person, and never settle for what might be easier and simpler is what we need now, and make thi...
  • Pavellit
    This is an important story about a boy who is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program, ironically called 'Love in Action', which in its short time has managed to erased him, perhaps in ways that can't be repaired. It's also about the reality of being a gay son of a baptist preacher in the South in a strictly religious community- full of secrets, full of unsaid words. The Bible belt is more suffocating than ever. The mem...
  • Faith Simon
    It’s probably predictable to state that I was in constant near tears reading this. It was almost like experiencing it all for myself, I felt the grief and pain and struggle so strongly for myself, and it always hurts so much reading of my LGBTQA+ family experiencing atrocities such as what’s described in this novel. The struggle with self-acceptance and the added hardship of coming from a religious household rings very true for me as well, an...
  • Rebecca McNutt
    As a boy, Garrard's life was immersed in his orthodox community. When he finally decided to come out to his family though, the people he grew up with turned out to be anything but loving or understanding. He was sent to a conversion "straight camp", where it was hoped that his "illness" would be "cured". This memoir is about his resilience and how he overcame the bigotry from his parents and church, and how he has learned to be proud of who he is...
  • Lynn
    The author was born in Arkansas to conservative Missionary Baptist parents and from a young age he had same-sex-attractions. His parents found out, were shamed, and sent him to religiously based ex- gay therapy.This memoir is an excruciating account and blistering condemnation of this therapy and the grave harm it causes. This is the exact same type of therapy that our Vice President elect, Mike Pence supports but which the American Psychological...
  • David
    Review to come.
  • Martina Barlassina
    Non metto in discussione l’importanza della tematica trattata nel libro e non metto in discussione il potere della letteratura di conferire un’eco ad argomenti ancora spesso tabù. Ma.L’opera di Conley è scritta indubbiamente bene, forse fin troppo: il ricorso a una prosa eccessivamente reboante e ricercata non mi ha permesso di entrare in sintonia con il testo e, ahimè, nemmeno di empatizzare con il protagonista/scrittore.È sempre diffi...
  • Kyle
    Actual rating: 2.5I picked up this memoir under the impression that it would entail a lengthy/important conversation on conversion therapy programs, as well as the author’s long, arduous journey through the process therein, and, eventually, on to his post-therapy years. What I got was merely a fleeting glimpse of that.Here’s the thing: this book is sorely underdeveloped.Mr. Conley writes from a wobbly memory of his eight-day stay at LIA (Love...
  • Scott S.
    I'm not sure what bothered me more about Boy Erased -- that author Conley experienced some of the objectionable things (being sent to 'ex-gay' therapy by his devoutly religious parents as an adult, etc.) he details in his memoir, or that after the first 100 or so pages that the powerful and affecting narrative sort of frustratingly jumps the tracks for awhile. However, I need to be fair and mention that by the final two or three chapters things r...
  • Chris
    The one thing that's undeniable about Garrard Conley's memoir is that it is truly fascinating. As a gay person myself, it is impossible not to wonder what sort of horrors are inflicted upon people that are unfortunate enough to be subjected to one of these "straight camps," if you will. So when I picked this book up at the library, I was excited to finally learn. I was hoping for a story similar to that of Anne Frank- an inspiring tale of a teen'...
  • Brian Murray
    Boy Erased is an unpleasant and necessary read.Conley details some very complex and dark emotions. This is not really the story of his coming out, nor is it the story of his days in ex-gay therapy, although those are both chronicled. No, this book is a chaos, emotionally, thematically, and structurally. Conley frequently goes back and forth between three or even four narrative threads at once. It can be confusing at first, but as you read, the co...
  • Gloria Zmolek
    For the past three years, I have been following Garrard’s journey of writing and publishing BOY ERASED. I knew it was about his experience in an Ex-Gay camp in Arkansas but didn’t know much more, so I expected the book to be mostly about his time in the camp. While an important part of his story, the book is about so much more. Specifically, it is about his process of coming out in the South, commonly referred to as the Bible Belt, while his ...
  • Madeline O'Rourke
    Boy Erased: this book broke my heart. I don't want to say much about Boy Erased. It's always weird reviewing a memoir, but particularly one so harrowing, because that was someone's life.I will say, the fact that Conley went to school to become a writer is so obvious, and it made it so easy to forget that this is non-fiction. The recurring moments of realisation, where I was jolted back to the reality that this was someone's life, not a made-up st...
  • Eric Anderson
    Despite all of the heart-wrenching human lows expressed in this book, Garrard Conley holds true to a non-condemning, non-binary world view, where none are demonized and none are saints. This book is more than a moving, candid tale of a boy coming to terms with his sexuality in the evangelical south—it is a useful tale. Useful for anyone that age who is struggling with the same decisions. Useful for anyone who had to travel the same path Conley ...
  • Christine
    I am one who usually likes memoirs, and gives a lot of credit for the bravery it takes to write one and be so transparent. I'm not sure if this one was just too repetitive, too overwritten, too boring, or too vague in most areas... But I just didn't feel much connection to author.