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Odd Man Out

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  288 ratings  ·  133 reviews
The Black Mountain Camp for Boys. Summer of ’89. It is a time for splashing in the lake and exploring the wilderness, for nine teenagers to bond together and create friendships that could last the rest of their lives.

But among this group there is a young man with a secret — a secret that, in this time and place, is unthinkable to his peers.

When the others discover the trut
Kindle Edition
Published November 21st 2016 by Bloodshot Books
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Must Read For Everyone!

I am still shaken after just finishing this book. This is a disturbing and horrific, heartrendering story that should be read by all. I actually cried while reading and wanted to stop, but was compelled to continue the journey through to the end. This book while fiction tells a woeful story about events that are happening in our world right now and some people can turn a blind eye to the injustice when it doesn't involve someone they know.

James Newman has written a bri
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm sad...

This is not a review where I'm going to make any jokes or try to get a laugh - it would be disrespectful.

Ignorance, fear and anger...
It is just so much easier to hate something you don't know or understand.
I read somewhere about an interview a journalist had with somebody after witnessing a stoning. The question was asked whether the person truly believed what they were doing was right. The answer had incredible depth - and I can't quote it verbatim, but this is what I remember.
When yo
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Peer pressure has never held an uglier connotation than it does here. It was the proverbial perfect storm. Nine boys, ages 15-17, assigned to an isolated camp with woefully inadequate supervision. Bullying shifts into maximum overdrive. Full of bravado and burgeoning testosterone, they zero in on the weakest link.

Hard to read, but the writing is top-shelf. Hear the message, loud and clear.
It is with tears in my eyes that I finish this novella.

As an important church vote looms, Dennis suddenly remembers with clarity an incident from his childhood. All of a sudden, the reader is transported to the Black Mountain Camp for Boys.

During this one week summer camp, an atrocity is committed. One that will haunt Dennis, the other boys, and this reader. I doubt I will ever be able to forget Dennis or his former best friend, Wesley. Maybe I am not meant to. You're not meant to forget it eit
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

Dennis Munce revisits a haunting memory of his youth in this absolutely gut-wrenching...heart-breaking short story of hatred and violence.

1989 - Black Mountain Camp for boys turns to horror in a hurry after an incident and accident leave nine teens with virtually no responsible adult help against the ignorant bullying types....and no one strong enough to prevent harm to the innocent.

Whew! Well done tough read and harsh reminder that we still have a long way to go.

James Newman's book "Odd Man Out" is the coming of age story of a fifteen year old boy and the events that occurred during several weeks at a summer camp named "The Black Mountain Camp For Boys" during the summer of 1989. This is not your average "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" story

The age of 15 can be and usually is an awkward time for boys, and when a group of eleven or twelve are gathered together, and the supervision becomes lax, bad things can happen.

Mr. Newman has written a powerful bo
Janie C.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book put a knot in stomach.  The grisly violence that occurs as a result of fear, anger, insecurity and peer pressure asks the reader to look deep inside.  If you were caught in a similar situation, what would you do?  The rage and threats of the ignorant are a powerful deterrent to compassion.  We can only hope that we would be courageous enough to make the right choices. 
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ODD MAN OUT, by James Newman is a book that takes a look at the ignorance and intolerance of society, and how little it takes to turn those feelings into an uncontrollable hatred. Under the right circumstances, a sort of "group mentality" can come across even younger people, left unsupervised, and bring about horrific results.

We start out with a group of @ 15-year-olds, sent on a trial of The Black Mountain Camp for Boys. When you have nine boys--coming of age--at a camp, with a self-centered "s
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novella, 2020
Seven days spent at summer camp. Seven days remembered for a lifetime, but not for the right reasons. Some things cannot be forgotten, or ever erased. It’s impossible to read this story without feeling overwhelmed with emotion.
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I never got around to reviewing this one. I was contemplating a 12 page essay on all the ways I can relate to the story (minus the super horrifying stuff) but I'll spare you my rant and keep it short -

If you were looking for something happy and uplifting, and you picked this, you fucked up.
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
James Newman's new novella shares similar themes to his acclaimed novel Animosity , themes like mob mentality, the nature of hate, and the way that hate is contagious. Eight teenage boys are spending a summer at the brand new Black Mountain Camp for Boys, kayaking, swimming, and playing baseball. But when a secret of one of the boys is revealed and the campers are left without much responsible supervision, normal teasing and shit-talking turns into something much more horrifying.

I didn't ful
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever read a book that made you angry? Odd Man Out by James Newman pissed me right off. It forces you to take part in something you don’t want to be a part of. You must see it through, but you feel bad for being there. Things happen in this world that shouldn’t. People hate for no reason. Innocent people suffer and shouldn’t. I felt horrible at the end of this book, but I’m glad I read it. We need to talk about this kind of stuff in order for it to stop. Enough with the bullying, enough with the ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
"…meanness festers. Like malignant cells eating away at bone marrow. And the more it consumes, the hungrier it gets."

A very difficult and emotional read. I could see the events unfolding and felt powerless as they played out before me. Intolerance, hate and bullying are difficult subjects to tackle. Kudos to James for taking this on and doing so with such skill and sensitivity despite the heavy subject matter.

*Be good to each other, people. Life's too short to live it full of hate. It will eat
Kenneth McKinley
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
We've all been there as a kid. You,me, all of us. Chances are we weren't the bully, but we were around when the bully picked his next victim - and we breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't us. Maybe the victims was the new kid. Maybe they dressed different or talked different. Maybe they stuttered or had Coke bottle glasses. Maybe they came from the wrong side of the tracks. It really didn't matter what the reason was that the bully (or bullies) decided to make them a target. That's how bullie ...more
The Behrg
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are certain moments in life where you see a tragedy or accident taking place and are unable to do more than watch as it unfolds in all of its horrific magnificence. Time slows down, seconds lasting minutes and minutes hours, and a deep-seated part of you, the part that makes you human, continues to question why you aren't doing something to prevent it even though your rational mind keeps tittering that you have no control or could offer no support. You're stuck on the sidelines, relegated ...more
Michael Hicks
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bought, horror
It begins with a simple vote inside a church to determine if a local Boy Scout troop, in the wake of the Boy Scouts of America's decision to no longer ban youths based on sexual orientation. When the church agrees to ban the Scouts from using their building in the name of good, old fashioned, religiously sanctioned discrimination, Dennis is reminded of a horrifying incident from his childhood in the summer of 1989. Then, at the Black Mountain Camp for Boys, Dennis and his friend Wesley were conf ...more
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kobo, ebook-en
Again a great heartbreaking sad story from James Newman. A must read for all in this time because of the subject matter. It was written powerful and makes you think about what hatred can do. This could happen every day of the year. Same as peer pressure, that is becoming more and more a headline in the newspaper.

Jeremy Hepler
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great coming-of-age horror story that was painful and gut-wrenching to read sometimes, but impossible to put down as well. Newman has terrific voice and is a masterful story teller.
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this novella from Thunderstorm Books, Newman delves into very dark and brutal territory, raw and visceral and emotional. Several teens part of a focus group at the Black Mountain Camp for Boys one summer...and when it becomes apparent one of them might be gay, things quickly spiral into madness and violence. To say this story is disturbing is an understatement, but it's message is extremely important. And Newman deftly and honestly puts it all out there, examining how truly monstrous hatred a ...more
Frank Errington
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

Odd Man Out was originally released as a signed Limited edition from Thunderstorm Books, but this truly is a book everyone should get to read and so now it's deservedly getting the wide release treatment from Bloodshot Books.

It's been a few years since The Boy Scouts of America changed their policy to allow gay members. In Newman's Odd Man Out a conservative Christian Church is struggling with allowing the scouts to continue using their building as a meeting place.

There's a vote that
Levi Walls
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
One of the most heart-wrenching books I have read since The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. Absolutely, positively sad story about hate and bullying and broken human beings. However, just like Jack Ketchum, James Newman navigates these horrific waters with care. He makes your think. What if it was me? What would I do? While I was reading I was kicking myself for times I've failed the Odd Man Out, and smiling with joy when I remembered times that I stood my ground for others. I love th
Jon Recluse
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, coming-of-age
Hell is for children, and this monumental coming of age tale transports the reader into that darkest of places.
Newman writes with empathy and compassion, yet never flinches from sharing the pain that is the bane of childhood. He takes us down paths we remember, the ones we no longer wish to travel, but must for the sake of our humanity.
An emotional powerhouse of a novella, one that drew tears from this jaded old recluse...tears that needed to be shed for the scars we all share.

A powerful work by
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 122nd book of the year and the last one of 2019!

Even if I didn't plan on finishing the year with such an unsettling and disturbing book, it definitely deserves 5 stars.
Lee  drunkonbookz
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Kids can be cruel. Especially if they find one kid that is different in some way, be it skin colour, hair colour, religion, sexuality, you get my drift. Kids can be racist or homophobic but it normally comes from somewhere. I can only assume their upbringing hasn't been to treat everyone equally despite their differences, a lack of understanding. Lack of understanding in the mind of a bully has lead to some of the most heinous crimes in history.
This was a reread for me. I was so shocked at the
Glenn Rolfe
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Bullies love a few extra pounds of baby fat like mosquitoes love blood."

James Newman. Man, this guy is good. Friends in the biz have told me for years how good. Thanks, Kristin! They've told me I need to read him. They told me I'd love it. They were right. I read Midnight Rain this summer and was blown away. I read People Are Strange a few months earlier and loved the versatility and impact of many of the stories within that collection.

Now, we come to this novella, ODD MAN OUT.

Featuring a coll
Eric Hausman-Houston
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written, powerful book that is crucial in this time of growing division and hate. Though it may be difficult to read it's also difficult to put down. I found myself constantly wanting to go back in time to set things right. Anyone not moved by this story may very well be a sociopath.
The Grim Reader
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When the words ‘master storyteller’ get used, you tend to think about some of the greats in the genre. People like Stephen King, Clive Barker, Robert McCammon, these are the sorts of writers I usually associate with these words. James Newman is another name I’d like to add to this list. A master storyteller, in my eyes, is able to pull at a number of emotions, making you feel happy, sad, angry, fearful, hopeful and a whole lot more. When a writer is able to do this in such a short book I truly b ...more
Rob Twinem
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As a student at Queens University Belfast in the mid 70's I was privileged to be selected to act as a "counsellor" on the Camp America scheme. I spent a very happy 10 weeks working with underprivileged kids at Camp Sebago just south of Portland  in the Pine Tree State of Maine. This was a very closed environment and it offered city kids the opportunity to mature and grow and hopefully develop into exemplary adults. In such an idyllic setting it was very obvious to me who the trouble makers were ...more
Andi Rawson
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Odd Man Out by James Newman is for the faint of heart. It's for the bigots and the racists and it's also for the humanitarians, for people who do their best to be good people. It's for anyone who has ever had oxygen in their lungs and blood in their veins. It's a story that could be yours or mine...

It's a story of summer camp in the late 80's; of a group of teenage boys all vying to be leader of the pack, or at least not the lowest ranked; of that awkward stage when they're not quite children bu
Nev Murray
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"When you read this story, you will cringe. You will feel awkward. You will feel ashamed. You will cry. You will want to stop reading but you will find that you can’t. This is why it becomes a short read. You will not put it down."

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Odd Man Out

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