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The Last Boy

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  204 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Robert Lieberman, the bestselling author of Baby, as well as six other novels, has been called a "talented storyteller" by Kirkus Reviews. Now, Robert joins Sourcebooks Landmark with his stunning new novel, The Last Boy.
A spiritual thriller, this utterly compelling novel tells the story of Danny Driscoll, a huggable, enchanting five-year-old boy who one day disappears fro
Paperback, 512 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published 2003)
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Feb 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
First of all, this book is WAAAAAAAY too long. It could have been shortened by about half. There is so much detail and so many things are explained/described ad nauseum, and often things that the reader thinks are importent are just red herrings. That said, the author also has the annoying tendency to not elaborate or ultimately explain/resolve things that ARE important. No, the unfortunate reader is simply strung along for HUNDREDS of pages of worthless descriptions and endless details. I confe ...more
Jun 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
The first part of this book was a thriller about a missing child - couldn't put it down. By the end of the book, it was more of a thinly veiled lecture on the environment, which was interesting but nowhere near as gripping, and a bit bizarre. Still enjoyed the book though.
Apr 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Ugh. Seriously? This book was terrible. It was badly written. The first section was at least moderately interesting, and kept me reading, as it was an interesting missing kid sort of story. I powered through. Then it just turns hokey and stupid, and by the last book the writing is so poor and the story so unbelievable that it was just me groaning at the end of every chapter. The one good thing: books like this give me hope that I too can write a novel that will get published! It would have to be ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
This started off ok: a boy disappears from his day care. I couldn't figure out why only one person had a cell phone, then realized it was set in the late 90s (based on the copyright). It lost creditability with me when the mother randomly slept with the lead detective. Then it got overly long, preachy and boring, and the poor editing started to grate in me. Skip this one, I can summarize it in two words: go green.
Douglas Gibson
Jun 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Whoa, not since Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged have I been so preached to by a book! I liked this cautionary environmental yarn, but next time just beat me over the head with a picket-sign, it'll be quicker and have the same effect.
Lorrie Savoy
Jul 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was a jumble of several different ideas, and it did none of them well. If you want a novel about environmental impact, read Flight Behavior. If you want a novel about being willing to take a chance on love, try something bu Maeve Binchy. Need a good investigation that will break your heart/ Read Child 44. Doesn't The Deep End of the Ocean have to do with an abduction? Or better still, Room? Any one of these books would be a better choice.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
What a good story, ruined when it went off on lecture tangent then finished with a lousy ending. Even the lecture could have been bearable if it had been anything original about saving the environment, but the trite suggestions for saving the planet weren't even original in 2003 when this was written. And now they're going to make a movie. Can't wait so see how the film script writers improve it.
Anna Hargett
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm kind of confused as what to say about this book. It was really long, but I thought the writing was really good so it kept my attention. But towards the end of the book the story kind of took a wierd turn and instead of finding it really interesting, I kind of got a little bit bored.
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
The first part of the book was so long...I thought the whole book was going to be about this missing boy. I just felt like this book would never end. It was just ok. As others have mentioned, it turned into a lecture about how to treat the earth. Meh. (Not that I'm against treating it well, mind you).
May 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lit-fic
This book certainly sucks the reader in from its first pages with a thrilling story of a missing boy. But, Lieberman is something of a manipulative writer, as the book shifts gears after this well-written first section full of mystery and heightened emotion. With readers fully engaged, Lieberman steps away from the main plotline to include soapbox speeches on saving the world, and its environment. While it is hard to disagree with his stance, its sudden onset really negatively impacts the dramat ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own
Interesting. Reading the other reviews I was expecting a huge discrepancy between the disappearance of Danny and the return of Danny. It wasn't that big of a deal. True the first part of the book is a cop mystery story and it does turn into a different kind of story in the second part but I think the only way to find out exactly what happened to Danny is to see what happens after he returns. Instead of a telling of where Danny was we get the point of view of his impact on others and how they pro ...more
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
A book about a 4 year boy who disappears from his preschool class. He just vanishes with no trace in sight. His mother Molly does everything she knows to find her son but reluctantly must finally give up the search. Seven months later Molly is looking out her window and notices a boy walking towards her trailer who resembles her son. This book was very good, kept you in suspense and goes on to tell you how special her son is.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A genuine page turner -- until it shifts. I was as confused as anyone else, until the Ah Ha! hit. Then it became fascinating, aspirational, and complex.
That trajectory of mine follows the story - concern, disbelief, hope.
Let's hope that when we face a choice like this we have learned enough to let go our our preconceptions and listen, then act.
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Well it was good enough to finish despite its length. An odd mix of fantasy, mystery and religion revoled around a single mother, her five year old boy and a policeman assigned to the case when the boy vanishes without a trace. I'm not sure who I would recommend this to because it does cross several genres and is daunting in size. I guess the reader will have to take a chance with this one.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
The message in the book was fantastic. The overarching theme does not become apparent until about page 290 - at least for me that's when it got interesting. Once the message starts it's great! But boy, way to stuff it in at the end and beat a dead horse!
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in rather mystical adventures
This starts off as a very intriguing story about a boy who disappears only to reappear months later under mysterious circumstances and strangely changed. However in spite of starting with great promise the tale fizzles out. An OK read, but disappointing.
Stacey Cukierski
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The beginning really hooks you into the story of a lost boy and a distraught mother. As the book continues the plot changes into a bizarre tale of a boy whose a chosen one who has a close connection with nature.
Mitzi Thomas
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good read. Yes, it has a message, but a good one. The story was well written with nice attention to detail. The characters were well developed and very likeable. I would recommend it!
Julie O
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Makes you see how we really need to treat Mother Earth better.
Jun 05, 2008 rated it liked it
Apr 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Terrible. Can't believe I bothered to finish it. Trite.
Jan 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
Terrible. Slow. About 200 pages too long (I really thought it was 512 pages too long).
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
it was a really good read and it had a lot of twists and turns that kept me really interested except that I don't feel like the ending really explained it all. Never felt satisfied.
Heather Williams
Sep 15, 2015 rated it liked it
slow to start...crappy ending
Jul 01, 2009 rated it liked it
really enjoyed this book until the last 3rd when it took a strange turn and I had a hard time buying in
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Intersting premise but not very compelling read.
May 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!
Shelves: 2009
This is one of my all time favorite books! I couldn't stop reading it.
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A completely unique and utterly intriguing story! I have read this more than once, and it will remain a favorite on my bookshelf.
rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2012
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Robert H. Lieberman is a novelist, film director, and a long-time member of the Physics faculty at Cornell University. Initially he came to Cornell to study to be a veterinarian, but ended up becoming an electrical engineer and doing research in neurophysiology. He has also been professor of mathematics, engineering and the physical sciences and was recently awarded the John M. and Emily B. Clark ...more
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“. . . the authors had developed indices that could be employed to measure the state of a civilization, to determine if society was healthy, in decline, or perhaps even dead. The indicators keyed in on everything from the accumulation of refuse to declines in everyday civility. They looked at how a society treated its most vulnerable citizens; examined a culture's architecture, gauging its scale in relation to humans and the surrounding natural world. One of the primary indicators, however, was a measure of the ability of a society's citizens to listen to each other and truly hear what was being said. It evaluated by gradations the ability of individuals to stand motionless for prolonged periods, receptive to their surroundings.” 0 likes
“When humanity's deafness to simple common sense is allowed to reign, the implications for the world can only be catastrophic.” 0 likes
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