"Christian White, the fragile but somehow dynamic protagonist of the novel, is about to go under when the story begins. Young, attractive, droll, addicted, frightened, cynical, homosexual, infantile, campy, sexually compulsive, he’s a poster boy for a long list of contemporary dysfunctions… In this fascinating novel, the author has intimately depicted the whirling frenzy of a soul with little insight into itself, then put that soul through the sharp-bladed blender of calamity, the only road to this particular character’s self-knowledge. And he has made it entertaining and relevant to us… But the most amazing thing about this book is the author’s ability to sustain his vision." - Bruce Benderson, from the Introduction to White, Christian
"The details are familiar: familial—and other—dysfunctional relationships, religion, drugs, prostitution, even murder, but Stoddard’s voice is fresh and honest, drawing us in, holding onto our attention and growing empathy." - Tsipi Keller, author of Jackpot
The borderline lifestyle of twenty-year-old Christian White is a carnival of drugs and sex, accessorized by designer clothes and frequent stealing or scamming. Underneath the decadence are haunting memories of childhood abuse, the death of a brother and a father's criminal past.
Expecting to make a fresh start, Christian relocates from San Francisco to New York, just as his friends are being rounded up by the police; but life only spirals farther out of control in the new setting. Instead of drugs, Christian's existence is beginning to center around sex. He has let himself slip into prostitution, and he may have even played a part in the murder of a successful architect, although he can't remember the evening entirely. It has become increasingly clear to Christian that the only way to save himself is to come to terms with the past, no matter how painful—or how dangerous—the trip.