Book of the Week: Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon (One of Audra’s 10 faves of all time)

by Audra H. Anders for The Aha! Connection

The entire time I was reading Boy’s Life I was thinking about how much my Dad would love it.   So, I decided to get him a copy for Father’s Day.   It was written in 1991 but I figured it would be easy to find a copy.  Whoa – it is not available at our Barnes and Noble.   On Amazon – the current listed price for a paperback is $847.   What the heck?   The audio cassette is listed at $902.   I read books like a hungry lion and buy them all the time, but this is the first time I’ve seen prices like this for a book!

By the way, I read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.   Weird huh?  I ended up ordering Daddy a used paperback for $15 but just thought I would share the strangeness of this pricing.   I cannot figure it out.

Boy’s Life is a 1991 novel by American writer Robert R. McCammon. It received the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1992. It is considered by readers and critics as his best novel. I have personally never heard of McCammon until now even though he’s from my native state of Alabama.

The story is set in the early 1960s and makes observations about changes in America at that time, with particular emphasis on the Civil Rights Movement. Several of the characters are connected to the Ku Klux Klan, and the segregation of the black community is dealt with in some detail.  But it isn’t really a Civil Rights Movement book per se.

It’s a book about a 12-year-old boy growing up in small Zephyr, Alabama during the much simpler times of the sixties.  It is about a mystery, baseball, friend and family relationships and tosses in a little bit of magic.  Never have I highlighted so many phrases from a fictional book.  I just love the author’s writing style…his words are magical.   Here are a few of my highlights:

  • “The shouting and hollering went on, some people saying it was the Christian thing to keep Bruton from being flooded and others saying they hoped the flood was a jimdandy so it would wash Bruton away once and for all.   My folks kept quiet, as most of the others did; this was a WAR OF THE LOUDMOUTHS“.
  • “I understood then what courage is all about.  It is loving someone else more than you love yourself.”
  • “On that ride to my house, as the summer-scented air hit me in the face and gnats spun in the whirlwinds of my passage, I realized all prisons were not buildings of gray rock bordered by guard towers and barbed wire.  Some prisons were houses whose closed blinds let no sunlight enter.   Some prisons were cages of fragile bones, and some prisons had bars of red polka dots….”
  • “Don’t think too hard”, she cautioned me.   “Sometimes thinking gets in the way of doing.”

The more I think about this book the more I realize it will probably be on my personal top 10 list forever.

Click here to see the pricing on Amazon…this book is certainly amazing but I wouldn’t choose the $847 option!