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Boy's Life Hardcover – August 1, 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 2,763 ratings

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From Publishers Weekly

McCammon ( Swan Song ; Mine ) hangs this expertly told episodic tale on the bones of a skeleton that becomes symbolic of evil doings in the quiet waters of small-town life. Twelve-year-old Cory Mackenson is assisting his father, Tom, with predawn milk deliveries when a car shoots across the road and plunges into "bottomless" Lake Saxon. Diving to the rescue, Tom finds a nude, beaten and strangled corpse handcuffed to the steering wheel of the sinking car. Cory glimpses a sinister figure watching from the edge of the woods but discovers only an odd green feather at the spot. The ensuing search for the killer proves to be a rite of passage for both Cory and his father. Set in fictional Zephyr, Ala., in pre-civil rights 1964, this evocative novel is successful on more than one level. The mystery will satisfy the most finicky aficionado; McCammon has also produced a boisterous, poignant travelogue through a stormy season in one boy's life, peopled with the zaniest, most memorable Southern characters since those of Harper Lee.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In 1964, 12-year-old Cory Mackenson lives with his parents in Zephyr, Alabama. It is a sleepy, comfortable town. Cory is helping with his father's milk route one morning when a car plunges into the lake before their eyes. His father dives in after the car and finds a dead man handcuffed to the steering wheel. Their world no longer seems so innocent: a vicious killer hides among apparently friendly neighbors. Other, equally unsettling transmogrifications occur: a friend's father becomes a shambling bully under the influence of moonshine, decent men metamorphose into Klan bigots, "responsible" adults flee when faced with danger for the first time. With the aid of unexpected allies, Cory faces hair-raising dangers as he seeks to find the secret of the dead man in the lake. McCammon writes an exciting adventure story. He also gives us an affecting tale of a young man growing out of childhood in a troubled place and time. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/91; Literary Guild dual main selection.
- David Keymer, SUNY Inst. of Technology, Utica
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pocket Books (August 1, 1991)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 440 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0671742264
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0671742263
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.8 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 1.4 x 6.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 2,763 ratings

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
2,763 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

Suzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure poetry
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 22, 2013
23 people found this helpful
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Siltone
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a wonderful life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 29, 2014
8 people found this helpful
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Michael Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 31, 2008
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Momo
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet as a nut
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 27, 2012
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Stephen A G Proctor
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 6, 2020