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Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
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A Boy's Life School & Library Binding – May 1 1992


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Saint Patrick's Day Books for Little Leprechauns
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.



Product Details

  • School & Library Binding: 580 pages
  • Publisher: Turtle Back Books (May 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833587994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833587992
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 11.4 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #604,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

McCammon ( Swan Song ; Mine ) hangs this expertly told episodic tale on the bones of a skeleton that becomes symbolic of evil doings in the quiet waters of small-town life. Twelve-year-old Cory Mackenson is assisting his father, Tom, with predawn milk deliveries when a car shoots across the road and plunges into "bottomless" Lake Saxon. Diving to the rescue, Tom finds a nude, beaten and strangled corpse handcuffed to the steering wheel of the sinking car. Cory glimpses a sinister figure watching from the edge of the woods but discovers only an odd green feather at the spot. The ensuing search for the killer proves to be a rite of passage for both Cory and his father. Set in fictional Zephyr, Ala., in pre-civil rights 1964, this evocative novel is successful on more than one level. The mystery will satisfy the most finicky aficionado; McCammon has also produced a boisterous, poignant travelogue through a stormy season in one boy's life, peopled with the zaniest, most memorable Southern characters since those of Harper Lee.
Copyright 1991 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

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Humby on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DanD on June 10 2004
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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By R.Parklane on July 12 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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. The story is simply beautiful and still captures my heart and imagination after reading it the second time, 10 years later. McCammon is famous for his horrors. But in Boy's Life, Mc Cammon has written a brilliant story filled with sensitivity, humanity and emotional depth. It is about a 11 year old boy coming of age. Narrated in the endearing young boy's, Cory's, voice, Boy's Life captures what is meant to be a child once, when the world is still magical and filled with wonders, when a bicycle is a boy's steed, friendship is permanent, a dog is one's best friend and even "flying" is possible. And Boy's Life has its moments of poignancy when Cory has to deal with his best friends' death, evil when and where he least expects and bigotry in his young world. Boy's Life just tugs at my heart as it glows with warmth and comfort when parental love overcome the fears of growing up and always there to rely on in a child's life. Boy's Life is truly a treasure and I promise myself to read this gem again in another 5-10 years time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 & thrills. I always thought "Boy's Life" was McCammon's best novel. I have often thought of this book and now with a son of my own I wanted to re-read "Boy's Life" and to capture again it's magic of youth and boyhood fantasy. I was worried though, because I began wondering if when I read again, a book that I remember so fondly, would I still view it the same and would it still have the same impact on me? I would have hated to find "Boy's Life" was something I had outgrown, or found the memory of the story and the story itself we completely different. The great news is that "Boy's Life" is still fantastic and is simply one of the greatest coming of age stories available. The magic and mystery of the novel are wonderful, and I found myself caught up once again in the goings on in the town of Zephyr. If you haven't read "Boy's Life" or were hesitant based on it being written by a "horror" writer, give this wonderful novel a chance. It is unlike anything McCammon has written, and most likely, even coming out of his semi-retirement, will remain unlike anything he will write. Also, if you have read this novel and enjoyed it, make sure you pick up Dan Simmons' "Summer of Night". "Summer of Night" is stronger in the horror department, but the feel and flow of the book is very similar to "Boy's Life".
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