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The Boy Who Went Away
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The Boy Who Went Away

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  6 reviews
For Denny Graubert, the chaotic summer of 1967, when the screams of napalm bombs on the nightly news drowned the cheers of the All-Star game, brings the painful realization that childhood has passed. While engaging in his favorite domestic spying game, Denny unwittingly discovers the desperate measures his mother will take to save his autistic older brother, Fad, who is lo ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 5th 1998 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1997)
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Best Novels about the 1960s
98th out of 107 books — 109 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jim B
May 25, 2014 Jim B rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jim by: Carol Trapp
This story about a 60's dysfunctional family dealing with a younger son who is apparently autistic is told through the unreliable view point of the older brother. He spies on his mother and is convinced she is having an affair with his brother's doctor.

I wanted to like this book. Perhaps if I'd grown up in a dysfunctional family, I would have related better to the story. It seemed to me to lack heart, possibly because it's told through the eyes of a adolescent sibling who acts out.

I try to read
...more
TK
Oct 05, 2009 TK rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: smart, brave readers
Recommended to TK by: me
I picked this up after I read the author's second novel, Now You See Him, in manuscript form and was so jazzed to find a new writer to love I had to keep reading his stuff.

Many of the same things I liked about Now You See Him are present in this novel -- the sparkling prose, the unflinching look at awkwardness and painful truths. It has a darkness, and an honesty, that would make me think twice about recommending it to all but certain specific readers (city boys, smart unflappable men, broads, a
...more
Marguerite
A somber and sometimes heartbreaking book about a family on the brink. Eli Gottlieb's characters are finely drawn and absolutely true to themselves. As I neared the end, I came up with three other plausible finishes, something I seldom do. This book helped me appreciate advances in understanding autism. As bad as it can be, it was worse 40 years ago.
Lesley
I gave it four stars due to the content of the book. I read it as a history lesson to myself on Asperger's and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The way the children were treated in this book made me want to cry and beat the pulp out of the grown-ups for being so insensitive and the cruelty which followed in its wake. Well written.
Keith
This is a short little book that packs quite an emotional punch. The narrator's mother was one of the most conflicted, vivid, and realistic characters I have seen in a novel.
Bianca
only got halfway through
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