Little J and Roger
Eldot’s Preface to Little J and Roger

The most magical time in a boy’s life is when he discovers who he is sexually. It can be scary, threatening, and it can be fun and exciting; it can be a mix of these things. At the end of the process, he is forever changed physically and psychologically. This story looks at that process in a way that is unusual, and perhaps unique. It is not a typical coming of age story, though that is central to the work.

Little J and Roger makes an unusual underlying assumption. It departs from “accepted” mores of contemporary American society in a central way: it posits a society that is accepting and non-judgmental. Right and wrong still exist—but the puritan ethic and moral code are dispensed with, as the norm. Moralizers of the puritan sort remain—they are an archetype, after all. They may be problematic, but they are the aberration in this society. Sexual issues are no longer taboo. They are still complex, private, mysterious, and very special—but they are out from under the mindless repression we know so well.

Therefore, an individual is not faced with the “coming out” drama that preoccupies so much of our society; rather, he is faced with the process of  “coming into.” That, as the reader will see, is still a full time challenge.

The time selected to play in is the early 1960s, before the technical gadget revolution. The relative naïveté and general optimism of those years is a comfortable fit for the subject, and not so remote in time that it is unfamiliar—nor would the world of Little J and Roger be preposterously utopian.

The story is meant to entertain, not preach or argue the underlying social issues. Nonetheless, the subject is sufficiently complex to make demands. Standard modern novel criteria cannot accommodate the matter satisfactorily and fully—space sufficient to remain honest to the material is not available. The solution has been to craft the story into a form that can satisfy both the contemporary rules of length, and the expectations of the subject: it is presented in a series of novels. They progress chronologically and grow in complexity. Each is a complete segment, but the combination as a whole is greater than the parts, allowing the subject to be fully addressed. So this is a hybrid of sorts in structure, somewhere between a Dickens doorstop tome and a modern adventure series.

Readers of these books will be subjected to humor, titillation, and naughty behavior. Any two-week stay at a boy scout camp would have to have that as a minimum. You should expect to have a good time and feel elevated as a human being. This is, above all, a celebration of who we are. You will have to do your own lesson drawing and moralizing, however. And be warned: if you are a puritan at heart, you will not be pleased.

The first novel is introductory, as one would expect. We meet the main characters and a few secondary ones, and we are thrust into the identity question at once, through the characters’ perceptions. We witness their growth and discovery as it occurs. At the end of the second day at camp, what will they have discovered, and what does it mean? Addressing those questions is where Part One of Little J and Roger ends.