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It's a well-known phenomenon that a common loss doesn't necessarily bring people together. Employing a Rashomon-like alternation of voices, McFarland explores the same events from both Deckard's and Sarah's point of view. These two devastated people have nothing but good will toward each other, and both are worried about 8-year-old Harry and perplexed by his withdrawal and regression. Somehow, though, they can't avoid giving--and taking--offense.
An intensely subjective and surreal tone illuminates the interior lives of both of these characters. Sarah guiltily takes sleeping pills and muscle relaxants that make her "too groggy to drive the car and a little apprehensive in the kitchen, among sharp knives and open flames." Deckard, meanwhile, is having trouble with "a struggle for proper nouns, a tendency to leave his apartment without the keys, the habit of arriving in a room clueless about what brought him there." He's also haunted by his memories of Vietnam, a part of the novel that takes on a life of its own and leaves the reader wanting more. Indeed, there's an immediacy and an edgy humor to this side of the story that's missing from Sarah's more pastel journey. But Singing Boy is everywhere a work of unclichéd compassion, with the sometimes surprising revelation of goodness discovered in unexpected places. --Victoria Jenkins --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The story isn't awful, but it plods along. It was hard to keep my interest. The ending, while positive, seemed kind of tacked-on. Read morePublished 10 months ago by amykay
I had to put this book aside several times before finishing...to be perfectly honest, it tore me to pieces. Read morePublished on November 1, 2009 by A. Remy
This is an impressive novel.
A terrible, the terrible, thing happens to a family of three perfect people, Malcolm, Sarah, and Harry. Read more
I loved the first few chapters of this book. Mid-novel, both the plot and the prose became more mundane and the characters more one-dimensional. Read morePublished on December 5, 2006 by Shelley Lucas
Singing Boy is an honest story of a widow taking many months to come to terms with her grief, and not functioning very well in the interim. Read morePublished on March 25, 2005 by algo41
A man unexpectedly dies, leaving his loved ones to struggle with their grief--a story that has been written probably thousands of times over the years. Read morePublished on April 15, 2004 by Sankhya
"Singing Boy" is written with poetic sensibility and a master's touch. Beautifully depicting the pain and heartbreak that takes place when a spouse is violently... Read morePublished on October 1, 2002 by Christian
One night when returning home from an awards dinner, Malcom Vaughn is shot and killed in front of his wife and son. Read morePublished on June 11, 2002 by Brett Benner
SINGING BOY is a heart-wrenching look at unexplained violence and its aftermath. With poetric prose, McFarland illuminates the different faces of grief using the characters of the... Read morePublished on May 13, 2002 by Laura Stout