This is as baroque as it gets: a young man makes bullied teenagers and their bullies, prostitutes and their pimp see Heaven during sex. And, in his own quest for love, he slowly turns to gold. Don't dismiss it as a fantasy novel: this is an elegiac and shimmering story of life in the gutter redeemed by transcendent love.
She'd laugh, scream, weep. Sometimes I made blood come. One time, in the attic, she blacked out: as she came, her eyes changed colour, blue to green to grey, then closed. When she woke, the sureness and near-indifference, how quickly she lit up a cigarette and left - I knew she hadn't seen the same slice of Heaven I had. And, lying there, alone, fanned by this storm of wings, half-blinded by haloes, the attic ceiling a window more or less on a sky-wide orchard gilded with trumpet and stars, I still felt second fiddle, as though, with the speech on the boat, she'd gone beyond, and was up there, in the trees, looking down at me.