Robert McCammon delivers "a tour de force of storytelling" (BookPage) in his award-winning masterpiece, a novel of Southern boyhood, growing up in the 1960s, that reaches far beyond that evocative landscape to touch readers universally.
Boy's Life is a r ...more
But to answer your question…moreI finished it and boy, am I glad I did it! Do yourself a favour and work through it! You will find why it is a masterpiece.
But to answer your question, and anyone else's, I'll quote from the book, what Vernon says to Cory:
"And maybe there wasn't a real plot to it, maybe there wasn't anything that grabbed you by the throat and tried to shake you until your bones rattled, but the book was about life. It was the flow and the voices, the little day-today things that make up the memory of living. It meandered like the river, and you never knew where you were going until you got there, but the journey was sweet and left you wishing for more. It was alive..."
This book ought to become a classic, perhaps will become a classic. (less)
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One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from this book:
We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right ou ...more
On the surface, this book is a murder mystery. Forget the minimal supernatural elements, it plays a much smaller part than you might think.
It's a coming-of-age story about a twelve year old boy, Cory Mackenson, growing up in a town called Zephyr in the early sixties. And the story begins with him and his father, witnessing the aftermath of a murder and ...more
I am almost at a loss of words about this book. It is one of my favorites now. I thought it was going to be just about a mystery of who murdered someone and and father and son trying to find out the mystery!
Even though it was a little before my time all of the things that happened in Corys childhood is so familiar growing up hearing all of the stories from family. Granted a lot of the same things were in my childhood but I digress.
I loved the mystery that went on ...more
I'm going with five stars because it's a book I will remember. I think some of the story felt familiar to me because other author's have been influenced by this writing. And there is not a thing wrong with that, because this was superb.
It follows eleven year old Cory for a full year in his life. The 1960's growing up in a small town. A town that magic existed in. I had some trouble I do admit with some parts of t ...more
I can't stand this book any longer! I mean ....I REALLY can't stand it!!!!!
After about 4 hours of my time listening to the Audiobook...I'm DONE!!!
I don't care what the hell happens -- I can't remember when I've completely disliked a book more
The guys voice on the Audiobook sounds condescending to me most of the time.
Other times the writing itself is too syrupy sweet.
I was bored to death -- I felt everything was OVER-DESCRIBED. My God....I didn't care if the door was shiny. If the damn ...more
Fantasy and sci-fi will always be my favorite genres to read. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t read a lot of novels outside SFF; mainly because I found the popular and the highly acclaimed non-SFF books that I've read so far to be mostly disappointing or just not satisfying enough. However, there will always be that rare occurrence where I pick up a random book outside of my favorite genre and realized that I have been transported by a magical portal. ...more
Yeah, that's not a great teaser for this. How do you summarize a couple years in the life of a young boy?
I tried hard not to like this book. For the first quarter of it, it wasn't hard. Boy's Life feels overwritten for what it is and Robert McCammon was trying so hard t ...more
I never thought I'd read anything that impressed me as much as a Stephen King book. I mean, for a long time Salem's Lot was the gold standard, then it was The Shining, then IT. My favorite book for many, many years was IT. Until just now.
Boy's Life is my new favorite, standalone novel.
It's literally everything.
It's an adventure, it's a ...more
One of the great things about this book is that it perfectly embodies pre-pubecent innocence and coming of age. I was discussing this in one of my book clubs and we talked about how the main characters had yet to reach the the point of disenchanted teenagers driven by angst and hormones whi ...more
Story captures a whole year of a boy's life named Cory Mackerson. While reading the book I couldn't help bu ...more
My favorite quote -- "We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to ...more
I dedicate this review to Mike Sullivan, moderator of the group ON THE SOUTHERN LITERARY TRAIL. He assigned this one as his October moderator's choice, and I sighed and thought t ...more
The book begins with the narrator prefacing his story as an adult. He tells us that he believes in magic, and then he proceeds to tell us about the year when he was twelve years old in a little t ...more
“Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. Hold on to being a boy as long as you can, because once you lose that magic, you’re always begging to find it again.”
Boy’s Life is a selection I’ve actively avoided ever since it first popped up on my radar due to its unprecedented 4.55 rating amongst my Goodreads’ friends. (If you aren’t familiar with them, let’s just say they aren’t a real forgiving group of readers and leave it with that so they ...more
It’s 1964 and Cory Mackenson is a 12-year old boy living in a town and time where boys that age are fairly free of supervision to wander about town together, playing freely through their summers and Saturdays – Sundays are for church. Aside from Cory’s Dad, a milkman, and his Mom, there are Cory’s buddies, his classmates, and a cast of characters in this town, including the neighboring town of Bruton, where The Lady lives.
This captivati ...more
The protagonist is a 12 yar old boy, named Cory Mackenson. Cory doesn't have TV and video games; but he has no problem living to the fullest without these. After all, there are bikes, ...more
Sucker! Made you look.
I almost gave this three stars!
Oh, the inhumanity!!
I wasn’t quite as smitten by this book as some of my more learned friends – you know who you are.
McCammon is a fine writer; he creates some evocative characters; he lays out some of the most remarkable scenes that I have ever read; some of his passages threw me back to my own youth; he can turn a phras ...more
It was impossible not to wax nostalgic while reading this coming of age story, as I, too, was twelve years old in the summer of 1964. No cell phones, no cable TV, no PCs. A simpler time, to be sure. Time was spent riding your bicycles, exploring, playing hard, and learning life's lessons, one by one. M ...more
We had a monster in the river, and a secret in the lake. We had a ghost that haunted the road behind the wheel of a black dragster with flames on the hood. We had a Gabriel and a Lucifer, and a rebel that rose from the dead. We had an alien invader, a boy with a perfect arm, and we had a dinosaur loose on Merchants Street. It was a magic place." pg 10, ebook.
The story begins with a death and a myster ...more
This was truly magical absolutely breathtaking & one of the best books I have ever read… So much life came out of this book, the author ( bless him ) managed to capture the true essence of childhood, the beauty of imagination and the importance of naivety . The way most people describe the love for this book and the countless recommendation for this one, I can finally sa ...more
Boy’s life is like colorful, multilayered crazy patchwork woven from boyish dreams and desires, a dash of magic and forgotten long time ago by our adult self power to fly. It’s a dish compounded from carefully chosen ingredients that tastes of sweetness of children’s smiles and bitterness of their tears. It’s entering to our dreamed secret garden, realm inhabited both by bloodthirsty monsters and noble sheriffs, heroes that occupied our childish imagination. It’s a nostalgic journey into the p ...more
'Because Death cannot be known. It cannot be...more
Revisit the past by taking this sentimental journey into the 1960's in Zephyr, Alabama. Eleven year old Corey Mackenson and a memorable cast of well-defined characters (OMG Vernon) will make you both laugh and cry many times throughout the book. From a shocking murder comes haunting dreams, and from boyhood friendships comes both happiness and sorrow. There are creatures and ghosts, floods and bullies, and you'll not forget the wasp's from hell...more
Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information to last him the rest of his days. Flannery O'Connor
A 4.4--almost a 5. This 1991 novel likely won't be on syllabi in university literature classes this fall. Nonetheless, it's one of the most entertaining and heartfelt stories I've read of Southern childhood, though I think Donna Tartt's The Little Friend is better. This novel stayed with me for a while. Sometimes, this is exactly the kind of affable f ...more
As for the work itself, there is just so much here and I had so many different responses to it, all deftly drawn by McCammo ...more
That's this entire novel.
A 12-year-old boy getting out of school, enjoying summer, then going back to school, in 60's Alabama. Sounds simple, right? But this is charming in not just a nostalgic kind of way a-la Stephen King's IT, but full of love, consideration, adventure, magical realism, murder, mystery, courage, and some of the best Coming-Of-Age writing I've ever come across.
It's more ...more
The sixth book in his Matthew Corbett historical fiction series, Freedom of the Mask, was published in May 2016.
His next novel, a standalone book called The Li ...more
After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm.
That’s what I believe.
The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens.
These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.”