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A Boy's Life [School & Library Binding]

Robert R. McCammon
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 1992
Cory Mackenson is helping his father on his morning milk round when a car plunges into a lake. Cory's father makes an attempt to save the driver, but on reaching the sinking car comes face-to-face with a man handcuffed to the steering wheel. The author also wrote "Swan Song" and "Stinger".
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Both a mystery that will satisfy the most finicky aficionado and a boisterous travelogue through a stormy season in a 12-year-old's life, this novel follows a boy and his father as they seek a killer in 1964 Alabama.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In 1964, 12-year-old Cory Mackenson lives with his parents in Zephyr, Alabama. It is a sleepy, comfortable town. Cory is helping with his father's milk route one morning when a car plunges into the lake before their eyes. His father dives in after the car and finds a dead man handcuffed to the steering wheel. Their world no longer seems so innocent: a vicious killer hides among apparently friendly neighbors. Other, equally unsettling transmogrifications occur: a friend's father becomes a shambling bully under the influence of moonshine, decent men metamorphose into Klan bigots, "responsible" adults flee when faced with danger for the first time. With the aid of unexpected allies, Cory faces hair-raising dangers as he seeks to find the secret of the dead man in the lake. McCammon writes an exciting adventure story. He also gives us an affecting tale of a young man growing out of childhood in a troubled place and time. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/91; Literary Guild dual main selection.
- David Keymer, SUNY Inst. of Technology, Utica
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McCammon`s Classic Aug. 9 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When the publisher requested critical changes to the manuscript, the author refused to make them. He said he would have to break the contract before he would change his book. He believed that strongly in it. The rest, as they say, is history...

In the early nineties, a friend passed along some paperbacks she thought I would enjoy reading. There might have been a half dozen of them. But, only one I remember. Boy's Life by Robert McCammon.

I read it, talked about it, then read it again. I gave the book to my son to read. Probably the first time I'd ever passed along one of my books to him. He was around fourteen at the time.

Due to downsizing over the years, I've had to be very selective about which books I keep. I never considered parting with Boy's Life. It's a classic. A few years ago, my son bought me a new copy to replace the one held together with an elastic band.

Robert McCammon has a staggering imagination. No, not every writer does. McCammon fearlessly combined mystery with fantasy with action with suspense and tied them all up in one incredible story.

This book has it all. Is that what makes it unforgettable? Not really. There are many reasons. For me, one stands out above the rest.

It goes back to my love of people. I love meeting the characters in books. You see, that is my weakness and my strength - protagonists and antagonists. The more realistic the better. Actually, the most unrealistic character that seems real is even better than that.

Boy's Life has the most credible as well as the most extraordinarily unbelievable cast.

In my opinion, McCammon's most admirable quality is his talent for getting inside his characters − becoming his characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 14 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Best book I've read in a long long time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all Jan. 29 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After reading this, I've decided that Robert McCammon deserves a spot on my shortlist of favorite authors. He's a true storyteller and Boy's Life can be used as proof of this.

Unlike the average story, there isn't just one thing this book is about. It's not just about a murder in a small town. It's not just about how this affects the boy and his family. It has many, many separate stories to tell all rolled into this phenomenal book. It's told from the point of view of "the boy", Cory. He's grown up now but he recounts all the things that happened to him, his family, and his town during 1964.

I would highly recommend this story to just about everyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've even read Nov. 19 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The innocence of a boys life in a small town with the underlining hatred that was Alabama in the 60's. Sprinkle on a wee bit of magic and you have one absolutely amazing book.

A must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great story teller Sept. 20 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert McCammon has a great ability to draw you right into the story. The characters are interesting and believable. I love his writing style. I read his book "Swan's Song" and enjoyed it so much that I purchased a few more of his books. I am not quite finished this book yet but it's really wonderful and I want to buy my Dad a copy for himself because I think he too will enjoy this. I am looking forward to my other books by McCammon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Memory lane Feb. 19 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
McCammon has such a range of storylines and characters. Great characterization of being a kid and how challenging such a simple time in our life can feel. Good twists and turns and an easy, satisfying read. Think Stand By Me, with similarly well developed characters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The new McCammon July 2 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mr. McCammon is one of my favorite writers, at least in the supernatural horror fiction genre. This book is his second along the suspense/horror line, diverging from his classic writing genre.
His prose and characters are still vivid and emotionally involving. His style still has a cinematic quality in terms of movement and detail, but the content has shifted from monsters and supernatural creepiness to more down-to-earth, plain ol' nasty people doing nasty things.
I know the author has basically exhausted his pallete of classic horror icons to work into stories. From zombies and demons to werewolves and vampires, he's touched on them all. Apparently, he's moved into a more mass-market arena covering more everyday settings and happenings such as you might find Stephen King or Dean Koontz writing about.
I am one of his fans who'd love follow-ups on stories like "The Wolf's Hour," but for now at least this new suspense fiction is what McCammon is writing for us. Ever since the publication of "Mine," I've stopped being an avid reader of his work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure, delightful enchantment! June 10 2004
By DanD
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's 1964, a time of racism and turmoil. Zephyr, Alabama, is a small town, but it's caught up in the events of the world, too. There's no escaping reality, as one boy, Cory Mackenson, is about to find out.
It begins when Cory and his father witness a car disappearing into a lake rumored to be bottomless. Cory's father dives in, and before the car goes completely under, he witnesses something terrifying: a man, handcuffed to the wheel, with copper wire around his throat. Murdered.
But summer is coming. A summer filled with wonder, mystery, magic, and tragedy. It is a summer where Cody will realize that magic can really happen; where he will witnesses a creature that should've been extinct millions of years ago; where he will discover the power and love of family, and the unbreakable bond of friendship; where he will know terror as no one ever has.
Robert R. McCammon's writing is not always consistent. Some of his novels, such as "Mystery Walk," have been almost unreadable; others, such as "Stinger" and "Swan Song," have been enjoyable but forgettable; others, such as "Wolf's Hour," have been masterpieces. "Boy's Life" belongs in this latter category.
A comparison to Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" is unavoidable; however, McCammon manages to throw something into his tale that even Bradbury could not: suspense. This is a suspense novel, set aound a young boy and his quest for the truth, no matter what the cost.
"Boy's Life" is completely enchanting and thoroughly unforgettable. It is a novel for fans of any literay genre. It is, plain and simple, a masterpiece.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVOURITE BOOK OF ALL TIME!
I simply love this book. After I read if the first time, I lent it to every single reader I knew. When it got back to me, I had to buy a second copy because it was falling apart! Read more
Published on May 24 2011 by P. Carriere
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!
Once in a while you find a rare book which stays in your mind long after your finished it. Boy's Life is just that. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by R.Parklane
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Holds Up After a Decade!
I first read "Boy's Life" when it was first published over 10 years ago. I was still a young'un in college and could really relate to Cory's tale of childhood chills... Read more
Published on June 14 2004 by David Girod
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Great
I was born in 1969 and grew up in Brooklyn, so Cory's little town and historical events were not part of my world, but his childhood adventures and fears sure were. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by Mr. George Kaplan
4.0 out of 5 stars A Boy's Life Is One Of Many Tales and Trials
Robert McCammon's Boy's Life is one that should reach anyone and everyone. Whether through the many adventures that Cory, the boy, is taken or just through McCammon's artful... Read more
Published on April 5 2004 by M. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense/Nostalgia from McCammon
Cory Mackenson (doppelganger to author Robert McCammon) is about to experience the summer of his life. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by Craig Clarke
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