by Robert McCammon
Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson — a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake — and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible vision of death that will haunt him forever.
As Cory struggles to understand his father’s pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that are manifested in Zephyr. From an ancient, mystical woman who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown — for his father’s sanity and his own life hang in the balance…
This tale of an 11-year-old’s struggle between innocence and evil begins with the discovery of a gruesome murder and ends with the revelation that, even in Zephyr, Alabama, life is not safe and simple–and most things and people are not what they seem to be. “Recaptures the magic of being a child in a world of possibilities and promise. . . .”–Atlanta Journal Constitution.
My Thoughts: This was an amazing read! This is only my second McCammon book, but his writing just blows me away and I know that he’ll have a place amongst my favorite authors of all time. A very, very special thanks to Midnyte Reader who not only got me this book, but got it signed by Robert McCammon himself! And thanks to Stephen King, who recommended McCammon’s book The Five last summer. I love finding great authors by simply reading what you’re favorite authors are reading.
Boy’s Life is a coming of age story, but there is so much more involved! The town of Zephyr still holds a bit of magic for young Cory and his friends, magic they desperately need as a year of bullies, outlaws, ghosts, water creatures, fallen ladies, death, racism, nose picking girl named Demon, nazis, neo-nazis, carnivals, amazing pitcher named Nemo, nightmares, visions and story telling.
I know, it seems a lot for just one book, but McCammon weaves it all together seamlessly.
It’s awful, because I already know that I am not going to do enough justice to this book. I know that some of you are going to write this book off simply because McCammon’s novels fall under the horror category. But his writing is just amazing! There were so many lines I was copying down in my little quote book, so many times the book had me laughing, or crying, or just plain scared and worried for Cory and his friends. I really felt like I was part of the town of Zephyr, like maybe I was Cory’s nosy neighbor.
I was not expecting this book to be so filled with magic, but once I got into the book it became my favorite part. Some of the magic simply came from a young boy’s imagination. A magic most people put away when they grow up. But writers don’t, and I don’t think us rabid readers do either. I think we still have the touch of magic that we had as kids, and books help us tap into it now and then.
Here’s some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.”
“I’d like to be everybody in the world’ I said. ‘I’d like to live a million times.’
‘Well’–and here my father gave one of his sagely nods–‘that would be a fine piece of magic, wouldn’t it?”
“I had always wondered what Reverend Lovoy meant when he talked about “grace.” I understood it now. It was being able to give up something that it broke your heart to lose, and be happy about it.”
“Maybe crazy is what they call anybody who’s got magic in them after they’re no longer a child.”
Boy’s Life is that kind of book. It’ll help you tap into the magic.
Boy’s Life gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
**My copy of Boy’s Life was gifted to me by the amazing Midnyte Reader, so all opinion, comment, and snark are completely my own.**