Bikers

Adam Mars-Jones’s protagonist has disarmingly low self-esteem: Box Hill reviewed

Short, fat and shy, the protagonist of Adam Mars-Jones’s latest novel doesn’t have much going for him; even his name — Colin — is unprepossessing. He’s just 18 when he meets an older man called Ray, who is the ringleader of a biker gang in deepest Surrey. The year is 1975 and the bikers are part of a burgeoning postwar subculture of overtly butch gay men. Enthralled by Ray’s rugged good looks and easy grace (‘the only person I’ve ever seen who could turn a page wearing leather gloves and not fumble’), Colin becomes his live-in lover and a kind of mascot-cum-communal sex object for his pals, attending their regular