Lolito is an unconventional love story about a fifteen-year-old boy who finds solace in the arms of a middle-aged woman on the Internet.
Fifteen-year-old Etgar Allison is spending spring break alone in an empty house, when he inadvertently learns that his girlfriend has cheated on him with another boy. Heartbroken and lonely, without parental supervision, he turns to alcohol. Unable to cope with his grief, he looks to the Internet for comfort and lands in an adult chatroom. There he meets Macy, a bored but attractive housewife; flirtatious IMs escalate into cybersex chats and soon Etgar is raiding his savings account for a romantic rendezvous in London. . . What could possibly go wrong?
Ben Brooks’s Lolito is an uncompromising look at the turbulent emotional life of teenage boys, a funny and poignant story that injects raw honesty—and even a little tenderness—into its portrait of a taboo relationship.
“Lolito is the funniest, most horrible book I've read in years. I was blown away.”
– Nick Cave
“I love Ben Brooks. And Lolito is really something else. A twisted age-gap love story that is deadpan and grubby and strangely poetic and funny and wrong and also very right.”
– Matt Haig, author of, The Humans
“Brooks is a master of this art.”
– The Times
“Both warm and uncompromising, Lolito will be as entertaining for young adults as it is educational for older readers. And if some aspects of the world Brooks inhabits seem alarming, I can't think of a writer I would rather have as my guide.”
– The Guardian
“This is a totally convincing portrait of being a wayward teenager now, that only a teenager could have written.”
– Dazed & Confused
“Funny, witty and addictive, Lolito is a quirky and disturbing ball of energy that will consume readers until they have turned the last page. Brooks has created the most authentic teenage voice of the twenty-first century.”
“Lolito manages to be hilarious, thought-provoking, disturbing and ridiculous all at once and again proves that young Brooks is one of the UK’s most promising young writers right now—a possible Irvine Welsh of his generation.”
– Worcester News
"Booze, drugs, porn, snuff videos, chat rooms, pedophiles: what one 15-year-old did over spring break. Lolito is the fifth novel from 23-year-old prodigy Ben Brooks… A shocking, funny, touching, book; a young writer with potential to burn.”
"Lolito is reminiscent of Superbad and Youth in Revolt... Etgar is one of the most compelling teenage voices in contemporary literature, with a seemingly endless capacity for imagination and wit."
– Shelf Awareness
"Etgar is painfully self-conscious and self-deprecating; he inhabits that familiar teen mindset where every little thing is the most crucial event in your life, until it’s not anymore, and then it’s sad and funny at the same time. His staccato narration, interspersed with references to pop culture and the Internet, manages to get at genuine teen anxieties while still being hilarious.”
– Allison Chopin, New York Daily News
“Lolito is a credible, often exquisite work sure to court at least a little controversy in its depiction of ageless (im)maturity… Lolito won't ever become a tiny corner forgotten.”
– Declan Tan, The Huffington Post
“If this all sounds like an episode of the British TV show Skins, well, you wouldn’t be wrong…both rely on the affect of grittiness for their appeal while simultaneously featuring teenagers who are as fragile as a Morrissey song.”
– Eric Howell, Electric Literature
“Written in Brooks’s distinctively funny and ennui-infused voice, Lolito is a wildly entertaining narrative about love gone wrong that explores guilt while fully embracing, and exposing in an almost voyeuristic fashion, the dramas, thought processes, deplorable online behaviors, and attitudes of a regular male teenager.”
– Gabino Iglesias, author of Gutmouth, Verbicide Magazine
“Brooks acutely captures what it means to be a 21st-century youth. The seamless inclusion of Facebook statuses and online chats throughout the text captures the hybrid nature of a life lived partially online.”