One of the Boys

One of the Boys

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"A riveting and emotionally harrowing debut about two young brothers and their physically and psychologically abusive father--One of the Boys is 160 perfect, stunning pages by a major new talent. The three of them--a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father--have won the war: the father's term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps--the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters--become sinister, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then violent. Set in the sublimely stark landscape of suburban New Mexico and a cramped apartment shut tight to the world, One of the Boys conveys with stunning prose and chilling clarity a young boy's struggle to hold onto the dangerous pieces of his shattered family. Harrowing and beautiful, Daniel Magariel's masterful debut is a story of survival: two foxhole-weary brothers banding together to protect each other from the father they once trusted, but no longer recognize. With the emotional core of A Little Life and the compact power of We the Animals, One of the Boys is among the most moving and remarkable debut novels you'll ever read"--
"A riveting and emotionally harrowing debut about two young brothers and their physically and psychologically abusive father--One of the Boys is 160 perfect, stunning pages by a major new talent"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Scribner,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781501156168
1501156160
Branch Call Number: FICTION Magariel Daniel 03/2017
Characteristics: 168 pages ;,22 cm

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"A riveting and emotionally harrowing debut about two young brothers and their physically and psychologically abusive father--One of the Boys is 160 perfect, stunning pages by a major new talent. The three of them--a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father--have won the war: the... Read More »

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JCLMargaretO Jul 09, 2018

"One of the Boys" is painful to read. It's like watching a tragic accident in slow motion--you don't want to see it, but you can't look away. In contrast, it's also about finding your strength, both mental and physical, and finding the determination to survive. A story that will change ... Read More »

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JCLDebbieF Jun 27, 2018

You won't want to miss a single word of this stunning novel.

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JCLChrisK Jun 22, 2018

Wow. This little book packs a punch. It's short, quick reading, deceptively simple, and deeply affecting.

The twelve-year-old narrator has always revered his affable, charismatic father. After witnessing a "war" of separation and divorce, he desperately wants to be "one of the b... Read More »


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JCLMargaretO Jul 09, 2018

"One of the Boys" is painful to read. It's like watching a tragic accident in slow motion--you don't want to see it, but you can't look away. In contrast, it's also about finding your strength, both mental and physical, and finding the determination to survive. A story that will change you.

JCLDebbieF Jun 27, 2018

You won't want to miss a single word of this stunning novel.

JCLChrisK Jun 22, 2018

Wow. This little book packs a punch. It's short, quick reading, deceptively simple, and deeply affecting.

The twelve-year-old narrator has always revered his affable, charismatic father. After witnessing a "war" of separation and divorce, he desperately wants to be "one of the boys" with his dad and older brother when they decide to leave Kansas for New Mexico. He wants to be there to experience his dad's promised freedom to be like a kid again. So he does what it takes to make it happen.

As they settle into their new lives, the brothers gradually realize their dad uses drugs. And, alone in a new place, his habit is getting worse. Their fresh start steadily descends into a harrowing ordeal of isolation, abuse, and desperate survival.

The boy (unnamed like all the novel's major characters) relates his story in direct, unadorned language that allows events to speak for themselves. And they speak powerfully to themes of family, love, abuse, addiction, and masculinity. I read it over the course of a day and have been haunted by it since.

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