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Boy's Life [Large Print] [Library Binding]

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

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Kindle Edition CDN $8.19  
School & Library Binding CDN $15.69  
Library Binding, Large Print, February 1991 --  
Paperback CDN $14.44  
Mass Market Paperback CDN $9.89  
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Book Description

February 1991 Thorndike Press Large Print Basic Series
In 1964, on a cold day, Cory Mackenson is helping his father on his morning milk delivery when a car appears in the road before them and plunges into a lake. Cory's father tries to save the driver, but the driver is handcuffed to the steering wheel. Cory decides to find out what happened.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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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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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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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book! 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Still Holds Up After a Decade! June 14 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Suspense/Nostalgia from McCammon March 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Cory Mackenson (doppelganger to author Robert McCammon) is about to experience the summer of his life. Up until now, life in small town Zephyr, Alabama, has been nothing much to get excited about. But one day, while Cory accompanies his father on his milkman route, a car flies across the road in front of them and splashes into Saxon's Lake. Cory's father Tom dives in the lake to attempt a rescue and comes face to face with a naked man handcuffed to the steering wheel garrotted with copper wire. Obviously unsavable, Tom swims back to the surface, but that image will haunt him for many months to come.
And this is only the beginning of Boy's Life, a suspenseful fictional memoir that succeeds in capturing the magic of childhood. While his father suffers the effect of haunting dreams, Cory is introduced to the many quirky characters that make up many small towns. The Lady is the local clairvoyant who seems to know what Tom's problem is, Vernon Thaxter is the son of a reclusive millionaire and so is allowed to run around town naked with impunity, and Nemo Corliss is the new kid--a boy with a talent for baseball so natural that it truly hurts the reader to see that his mother won't let the fragile boy play.
These and other people (and creatures like Lucifer the monkey and the "creature from the lost world") co-exist with Cory in a town shaken up by murder. But this storyline is almost secondary to Cory's discoveries about himself (and his need to be a writer) and the world around him, including a bicycle that has a mind of its own, and seeing his first real naked woman (not found in the pages of National Geographic).
McCammon, as usual, writes like gangbusters and though Boy's Life is on the long side, those almost six hundred pages fly through the reader's fingers much like Cory's bicycle, Rocket. (If you like Boy's Life, be sure to also read Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, another horror/nostalgia piece.)
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best book I've read in a long long time.
Published 2 months ago by Pat McGregor
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has it all
After reading this, I've decided that Robert McCammon deserves a spot on my shortlist of favorite authors. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars best book I've even read
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. Read more
Published 10 months ago by David Redding
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story teller
Robert McCammon has a great ability to draw you right into the story. The characters are interesting and believable. I love his writing style. Read more
Published 12 months ago by M&E's_Nanny
5.0 out of 5 stars McCammon`s Classic
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. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Phyllis Humby
4.0 out of 5 stars Memory lane
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. Read more
Published 19 months ago by mcrevenue
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 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
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