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Boy Kills Man

3.6  ·  Rating details ·  177 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
In the South American town of Medellin, where drug dealers rule and hope is scarce, young assassins are in large supply. Take Shorty and Alberto: two hardened best friends from poor homes whose biggest dream is to see a live soccer match. These boys understand that the one true power they will ever possess comes in the form of a fully loaded Smith & Wesson. Pulling the ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 13th 2005)
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Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Boy Kills Man was a book that I hvae never read befor. It is an autobiogaphy about a 12 year old boy named Sonney. This story is about Sonney's life, though his eyes, of dugs, drinking, gangs, and him living in the getteo of Mexico. He has some money problems so decides to become an assassine.
He lives with his Mom and his Uncle Jario, and also lives next to his bestfriend Alberto. Alberto is also a kid assassine that kill people for a living.
Sonney and Alberto and Sonney are just like normal
Jun 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Great cover! Probably predictable if you do a lot of reading but with a very discussable ending, and a discussable trip along the way.
Fernando Sierra
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I liked it because it was interesting. There was lots of turns and twists to it.
Sandra Jones
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Violent and gruesome, but likely a true depiction of organized crime in Columbia. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
Amjid Mohammed
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Boy Kills Man

I stumbled across this book in a closing down sale at an independent bookshop.

For a quick read I really enjoyed it, I can see it working really well as a film, the equivalent of 'City of God'. I think if this book was given to the right director it has the potential to be a blockbuster.

The story takes you through the lives of two best friends documenting their daily struggle growing up on the streets. It gives you an insight into a different world where the innocence of children is
I think this is supposed to be a book for young people. Well, I don't know what they'd make of it but I was pretty disappointed. There is the kernel of a good story here but it never really gets going: there's a touch of the "TV movie" about it with thinly drawn characters, observations about the town and living environment that could have been made using a National Geographic guide and "La Bamba" by somebody who may have visited the place but is guessing too much about what it's realy like. Lit ...more
Melissa Schneider
Apr 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
"Believe me, nothing is more unsettling in this world than a kid with a gun." Sonny and Alberto, 12 year olds, best friends, and dreamers, have no intention of getting caught up in the gangs that haunt their small Columbian town. But they soon notice that people with guns demand respect. They quickly take the step from being small-time cigarette runners to hired assassins for the notorious La Fantasma. It doesn't take long for them to see that guns and money don't add up to the lifestyle they dr ...more
Aaron Hong
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: april-2014
Okay, let me start with a brief summary: BoyKillsMan is a interesting book that talks about a boy named 'Shorty'. He lost his friend and has 1 objective - kill Jairo and show his true power. Before that, he has some obstacles. In order to accomplish them, he has to locate his friend, but locate new ones too. At the end of the book, I was dissapointed that the author left me hanging by saying 'Let's finish this' and ending the story...

Time for a recommendation :)
I'd reccomend this book to any act
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Sonny,dose not have an education because he dont go to school, he spends his days doing odd jobs on the dangerous streets of Medellín, Colombia, South America. He and his best friend Alberto are running cigarettes for a store owner, and in this line of work Alberto meets El Fantasma, a soft-spoken crime leader with a reputation for being merciless.When sonny and his friend stops hanging out for a while sonny one day comes around with a gun and fifty American dollars. Sonny friend is woundering w ...more
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of My Bloody Life.
This is an unsettling look at life in a poor Colombian town where the only people who get respect are the drug dealers. The books' narrator, Shorty, (only 12 years old) cares only about soccer, Jesus, his family, and the music of Kurt Cobain. He longs to escape the life of poverty he knows. When he is hired as an assassin for El Fantasma, the local drug lord, everything changes. Fascinating look at how weapons can empower the powerless--but only to do harm to others and themselves.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italiano
disturbing but enlightening...the events are more fallout from world demand for drugs and persistant poverty and misgovernment, in my opinion. I am still learning Italian so this was a challenge but worth the effort. Also, I have been to Colombia (Cartagena) for work and liked it and the people, and I know Colombians here in the USA, so it was good to learn some more about one of their great cities.
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book contains all the hoplessness of young boys growing up in Medillin, where there is only drugs, guns and a stupid honor code. Alberto and Shorty are the best of friends who are drawn into a short life of money, drugs and guns---there is no hope in this book, but I realize it speaks volumes about life (or the lack of it) in this Latin American town. A good fiction book to tie in a study of cartels or Colombia.
Jan 14, 2009 added it
This book is very interesting. Its about how two friends Shorty and Alberto have eachothers back but something begins to go wrong. When Shorty gets into some business with a man called El Fantasma. Alberto right away starts suspecting something may be wrong. His suspisions soon come true when one night Shorty doesnt come home. Alberto goes out looking for him and gets into the business with El Fantasma to try and find out what happened to his friend Shorty.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was a teeny 150 pages, but man was it exhausting. What with all the 12-year-old poverty stricken drug culture assassins and all. The writing was kind of disjointed, but I don't know if that was on purpose, to reflect the lives of the kids in the book. I had to kind of drag my way through this one. It was utterly depressing, with no note of redemption.
i think that this book is good because i talks about how a guy who quits school because one of his friends did the same thing. he started changing alot he started working with some guy named el fantasma he was a very dangerous man. what i learned about this book is that you should think first before you do anything .
Bernard Sanders
Nov 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
In the South American town of Medellín, where drug dealers rule and hope is scarce, young assassins are in large supply. Take Shorty and Alberto: two hardened best friends from poor homes whose biggest dream is to see a live soccer match. These boys understand that the one true power they will ever possess comes in the form of a fully loaded Smith & Wesson
Mar 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I don't think that I really got this book. I think most of it went over my head. But it did horrify me, what people were willing to do just to make a living. It also made me thankful that I live in the US and I don't have to worry about growing up too fast like the kids in the book.

*This was written after I read the book - Teen's Top Ten review in 2005.
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Twelve-year-old Sonny and his friend Alberto sell cigarettes on the streets of Medellin, Colombia, until a run-in with a burglar earns Alberto a "recommendation" to the local boss. Kids make useful assassins since they cant
Geoff Lynas
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Had its moments. Not sure it was entirely successful. Ending was a bit 'neat' and unexplained. Maybe the set up for it wasn't strong enough. There was too little emotional engagement for me but perhaps that was deliberate given the subject matter and the target age group.
May 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Adults interested in young adult lit
A lot of my students were really into this book, so I decided to read it... It's really interesting and engaging, though I find the authorial perspective/identity relative to the subject matter of the book problematic... In general, a compelling young adult read!
Sep 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ungdomsbøker
Not one of the best books I have read, but the story and the topic of the book is quite unique.
Mar 05, 2008 rated it liked it
was okay
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very inviting story, into a life one would not like to life, but it's from the perspective of the child. Therefore many dimensions can be neglected.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I expected more, I think.
Darshae Hall
i learn a lot about young people in crime
Jun 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: youngadult
an amazingly written look at adolescent assassins in columbia.
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Grim story of 2 boys in Columbia who are trying to make their way as men. They get caught up in a crime syndicate as hit men, but their story, just like their lives, is more complex. Really tragic.
Ruben Catnon
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2016
Amir Pakishan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2014
rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2009
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Matt Whyman has written widely for all ages across a range of subjects - in fiction, advice and memoir. His adult books include Man or Mouse, Columbia Road, Oink! My Life With Minipigs (published in paperback as Pig in the Middle), and Walking with Sausage Dogs (Hodder). For teens, he is the award-winning author of titles including Superhuman, XY, XY:100, Boy Kills Man, The Wild (Hodder), the So B ...more
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