"Maybe there is no better novel in the world than Denton Welch's In Youth Is Pleasure." - John Waters
Flagrantly controversial on its first publication in 1945, In Youth Is Pleasure is a tender and fierce account of boyhood and nascent homosexual desire by Denton Welch (1915-48).
Against the backdrop of an English country hotel in a languid pre-war summer, Denton Welch's alter ego, Orvil Pym, examines his early life and formative experiences with a Proustian intensity. An adolescent voyeur, Orvil takes pleasure in the microscopic observation of his relatives and fellow guests, charting their eccentricities and love affairs as faithfully as he exposes his own obsessions.
In Youth Is Pleasure was Welch's second novel, a study of an adolescent who is hyper-sensitive and precocious (like the author himself), and who falls in love with nature and does not wish to return to school - but as in all of Welch's work, what is most important are the details of his characters' surroundings.
"In Youth Is Pleasure couples the linguistic virtuosity of modernism with a manic cast of characters" - Los Angeles Review of Books
'Denton Welch makes the reader aware of the magic that is right under his eyes ... If any writer has been neglected it is Denton.' - William S. Burroughs