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The Perfume Burned His Eyes Michael ImperioliYes. It's That Guy From The Sopranos.

If that's what makes you pick it up, fine. Just do it.

Matthew, a 16-year-old boy living in Queens loses both his father and his grandfather. His mother uproots the now family of two to Manhattan. He starts an unlikely friendship with two tenants in his building: Lou Reed and his trans girlfriend Rachel. Lou becomes a quasi-shamanic father figure to the boy as he navigates his lonely path to becoming a man.

Heartbreaking. Pure.

If you walk away from having read this book without feeling the deepest empathy for teenagers and your own teenage self, you're just a stone, man. You can't be reached.

The Perfume Burned His Eyes by Michael Imperioli ( $25.95*, Akashic Books), recommended by Fountain Books, Richmond, VA.