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The Flamer

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4.21  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
All boys tinker with fire. Oby Brooks holes up in a backyard shed to experiment with napalm recipes. He has a hand in burning down his own house, twice. He can't help it: his very DNA seems made of TNT. Meanwhile, amidst the detonations, Oby's sexuality is up for grabs. Parents, mountain men, chemistry teachers, neighbors, and arson inspectors all try in their own quirky w ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published February 15th 2012 by Aqueous Books (first published January 15th 2012)
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hayden
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
i met ben rogers at a creative writing camp i attended in . . . 2012? (i remember very little from my high-school days; most of it has been pushed away in embarrassment.) what i do remember is that he gave some sort of talk and then signed our copies of the flamer, which were given as part of the camp. his inscription in the front reads, "to hayden—write on, sir." (good news: i followed his advice, and i'm, thankfully, a much better writer today than i was in 2012.)

i'm also a much more patient r
...more
William Alan
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this coming-of-age novel, partly because it is set in Reno where I live, but mostly because it's well-written. The characters are vivid and people I'd enjoy meeting. I hope Ben Rogers has more novels up his sleeve.
Matt Davis
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Chris Coake
Oby could have narrated a story about peeling oranges and I would have turned pages in a blur. This book proved to be a vehicle of aching nostalgia and savage love for my home.
Melanie Page
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Flamer: mostly about explosions and science and less about sexuality, although the title might lead you to think that. The Flamer: really, it’s thirteen-year-old “Oby” Brooks lost in his newly teenaged body being directed by adults who shape his fascinations.

Oby represents everyone who was a regular pubescent teenager: completely lost emotionally, growing hair in new places, and trying to separate himself from his parents. He describes his soul as “a hermit crab inhabiting a loner bowling s
...more
Jenny Shank
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Practical Pyromania: a coming-of-age story of a Nevada pyromaniac

http://www.hcn.org/issues/44.13/pract...

The Flamer
Ben Rogers
257 pages, softcover: $14.
Aqueous Books, 2012.

Ben Rogers' engaging first novel, The Flamer, is the coming-of-age story of a young Nevada pyromaniac named Oby Brooks. Oby discovers his love for conflagrations when his father donates the family's dilapidated house to the Reno Fire Department to burn "for training purposes." The boy watches the fire, riveted: "A dragon was ea
...more
Brooke Santina
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
About much more than a boy who plays with fire and later questions his sexuality, "The Flamer" speaks to relationships between peers, parent/child, even touches on what an important role a great teacher can play in a child's life. It will make you think of your youth, your experiences and the many momentous firsts that come with growing up. Remember making a big mistake, the first day of your first job, your very first kiss? This book took me home; to a time when I was young and made some poor c ...more
Meghan
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-clubs, 2013
I love coming-of-age stories, so I was interested in this book club choice as soon as I got that vibe from it. I enjoyed my time with Oby despite the novel's off center feel, as if the climax of the story was in the first third or so and the rising action was just getting going toward the end. I would have liked it if Terry were more of a fleshed out character instead of a device in Oby's story, but since it is set up as Oby's story, that's more of a quibble.
David Slater
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Had the good fortune to land next to the author at a signing table last weekend and was intrigued by Flamer, which turns out to be the captivating coming-of-age story of Oby Brooks, budding pyromaniac. Ben Rogers finds pretty much the perfect metaphor for the volatility of male adolence and the carefully-guided interior excavations necessary to come out of it in one piece. Memorable characters and finely drawn details abound. Highly recommended!
Rich W
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing


Loved Ben's book! I loved wandering through Reno with Oby and company. The story was interesting and fun to read. I have recommended the book, given as gifts, and passed along my copy. Go...read...enjoy.
Kelli
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is extremely well written; intelligence and humor all wrapped up in one wonderful story about a very complicated boy! Being from Northern Nevada made this book all the more close to my heart, as I could picture every scene! I'm not sure what the cover is made from, but I loved that too!
Brian Rowe
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful coming-of-age novel. Funny and moving, The Flamer is a must-read. Check it out!
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Ben Rogers lives in Reno, Nevada with his wife and two daughters. After studying engineering and journalism in college, he has worked as a business analyst, a reporter, a teacher, an engineer, and a scientist at various labs, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His short stories and essays have appeared in various journals and collections. Rogers gratefull ...more
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