A "gripping and heartfelt" ( The New York Times Book Review ) story about two young brothers contending with the love they have for their abusive father, One of the Boys is a stunning, compact debut by a major new talent. Read more...
A "gripping and heartfelt" (The New York Times Book Review) story about two young brothers contending with the love they have for their abusive father, One of the Boys is a stunning, compact debut by a major new talent. The three of them--a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father--have won the war the father's term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps--the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters--become worrisome, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then dangerous. Set in the sublimely stark landscape of suburban New Mexico and a cramped apartment shut tight to the world, One of the Boys conveys with propulsive prose and extraordinary compassion a young boy's struggle to hold onto the pieces of his shattered family. Tender, moving and beautiful, Daniel Magariel's masterful debut is a story of resilience and survival: two foxhole-weary brothers banding together to protect each other from the father they once trusted, but no longer recognize. With the emotional core of A Little Life and the speed of We the Animals, One of the Boys is among the most remarkable debut novels you'll ever read.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-23
- Reviewer: Staff
The unnamed boys of the title of Daniel Magariels spare and piercing debut novel are the 12-year-old narrator, his older brother, and their father. The trio are headed from Kansas to New Mexico to begin a new life after a brutal divorce and custody battle referred to by the father as the war. The narrator, complicit in lying about his mothers negligence so his father could gain custody, at first treats his new life like the adventure he was promised that it would be. But when his fathers violent tendencies and severe drug addiction become increasingly apparent, the narrator finally begins to make sense of the divorce and the true source of the familys demise. The urgent present action of the novelin which the brothers adapt to their new life while tiptoeing around their erratic and largely absent fatheris combined with flashbacks portraying life before the familys collapse, ultimately creating a stunning and tragic portrait of both the joys and limitations of love. Agent: Bill Clegg, the Clegg Agency. (Mar.)