The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves
In raw, poignant alternating first-person narratives, interspersed with e-mails, gay chat-room exchanges, and other fragments of a youth laid bare in the age of social media, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves unravels the mystery of a life in all its glory: despair and regret, humor and wonder, courage and connection.
A heartbroken and humiliated Ricky Graves took the life...more
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Social media has made it possible for us to connect with people from all phases of our lives, all over the world. Sadly, it has also made it easier for people to bully, ridicule, criticize, gossip, and humiliate. No matter how many connections we may have, are these true relationships? Will the people with whom we share photos, pithy sayings, humorous videos, and casual greetings actually be there to help us in our time of need?
These are questions James Han Mattson address ...more
I probably am one hell of a bigot and worse but I sort of got twitchy trying to read it. I wanted to send everyone to some kind of medical health practitioner, starting with a good psychoanalyst.
The cloying atmosphere of the day-to-day stupidities people regularly do was reflected here supe ...more
In "The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves" we pick up in the aftermath of a shooting by a humiliated teen. Ricky is lonely, gay, bullied, and recently humiliated by a group of popular boys, one of which he thinks is interested in him. It was all a prank, though, and Ricky takes a dark path of revenge, shooting and killing the le ...more
Judging by that description alone, I'd probably never choose to read this book--as a millennial firmly rooted in our technological world, I abhor fiction that exists purely to rail on those dumb kids with their faces stuck to their screens. I was worried thi ...more
I made it through nearly 30% of the book before giving up. I can handle quirky first-person, although I prefer the author to limit himself to one first-person POV per narrative, but I choked on the epistolary, gay-chat sections. Overall the narrative st ...more
This novel teases out the impact of technology on our personal and social interactions. It does so by alternating chapters' communication formats - email, chat, narrative, etc - and through the co ducts faced by two of the main characters (Jeremy and Ricky). While this is enough (and then some) to highlight the issue, Mattson has every character weigh in on the subject either explicitly or implied. By the midway point, I as a reader, thought "enough! I get it! It's a complica ...more
I read a lot of books. Like, a lot. This is most original, most relevant book I have read this year. This is a book that will stay with me forever. If you’ve ever been a bully, been bullied, not understood your sexuality, felt marginalized or p ...more
I really loved how this book was set up with the emails between Ricky’s mother (Harriet) and Victoria Gorham, the “Man Date Chat Transcripts,” and the various first-person narratives....it made everything feel so real and perso ...more
On the surface, this is a story of a bullied, conflicted kid that is overwhelmed by his life, shoots others, then himself. It's told by multiple POV's before and after the fact in narration, chats, and emails. With so many voices, it leaves you wondering how they all might tie together neatly into a bow at the end of the story. Simply put, they don't. As in life, you're left with questions about multiple characters and how their paths connect, how their choices ...more
I removed one ...more
James Han Mattson's debut novel, The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves is an oddly titled, but richly textured story that makes use of multiple narrators (a common trend lately), as well as a variety of written styles (prose, emails, even chat room dialogue) to explore themes of relationships (in the online age), single parenthood, bullying, altruism, and how we pursue (or don't pursue) the lives of which w ...more
While true that the Internet can be used to form connections am ...more
Ricky Graves is already dead as the book begins. Branded as being weird by his peers, struggling with being gay, he was an obvious target for bullying, and a humiliating prank drove him to shoot two of his bullies and h ...more
As someone who maintains a public Twitter account, I always think about how my followers might think they know me on a deep level even though they only read what I share through an app. What does intimacy mean if your only tie to someone is through a social network? What do friendships mean if they’re based on emails, texts, chats? James Han Mattson’s modern take on an epistolary novel forces us to confront the depths, nuances, and questions that arise when you strike up— ...more