A powerful coming-of-age story -- edgy, stark, and at times, darkly funny that centers around Larry, a Native teenager trying to cope with a painful past and find his place in a confusing and stressful modern world. Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the centre of the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school Ïtramp. In this powerful and very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in Canadian fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins, and he's now being hunted and haunted by a pack of blue monkeys. But through his new friendship with Johnny, a Metis who just moved to town, he's now ready to face his memoriesÛand his future. The Lesser Blessed is an eye-opening depiction of what it is to be a young Dogrib man in the age of AIDS, disillusionment with Catholicism and a growing world consciousness.