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The Boy: The Mastodons (Volume 1) Paperback – April 17, 2017
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About the Author
From a traveled elementary school education starting in Hawaii, then changing schools every two years, to attending a small liberal arts college, James Strauss graduated to a leadership position that turned out to be a 'hanging by the fingernails' survival posting in the Marines Corps, during the Vietnam War in 1968. During that deployment he was seriously wounded, resulting in a long hospitalization. When he was finally told that it was likely he would live (though still in a hospital bed), James looked up and asked God for one favor. He asked not to lead a normal, humdrum life. He now believes that God heard his prayer, and pointing one finger down, granted his request. Outrageous fortune has indeed been the nature of the life that smiled down upon James; a roller coaster ride of joy, success, ruin, more success, depression, physical pain, danger, international travel, adventure and a total lack of believability. For a time, James strove for credibility until he realized that his own credibility was "without meaning." James has published five books: The Boy; The Bering Sea; The Warrior; Down In the Valley (The first Arch Patton adventure); and now Thirty Days has September, The First Ten Days. He is currently readying another Arch Patton Saga: It Was 1993, and continuing the novelization of his Vietnam war experiences with a second book: 30 Days Has September, The Second Ten Days. In addition to writing his books, James also publishes a weekly Midwestern Newspaper, The Geneva Shore Report.
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Top customer reviews
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One has no way to prepare for that, only to negotiate it as it moves within and without.
The mind of the Boy, who is alone in this Elemental assault, is filled with 'just so' apprehensions of the tangible reality around him. As his world collapses, he does not take energy to make sense of what is happening. He is a traveler of Earth's transformations in its nocturnal womb-space enclosing man's gestation here. That symbolism is acutely noted in the opening sentence of Ch. Three: "Casting all thought from his mind, the naked, mud-covered boy pushed himself quickly to his feet."
Simply, elegantly written, slim and smooth as a fine reed in its wordings, clean limbed and clear, The Boy begins at a run in a nether world, cruelly, starkly physical. Visceral. Its darker scenes alternate with beautiful, sensitively-wrought encounters, such as that first with `Mur' the mastodon beast, with the ailing bird he rescues at his own risk. The tale pulsates with the boy's own heartbeat, his "one hundred breaths." His stealth and quick decisions to every encounter, which must be faced with immediacy to survive, actuate within a mind of Zen 'empty' in order to accommodate the thrust of human, animal and primordial forces upon body and Psyche.
I am reminded in this work of a recent saying (pardon, I forget who)--that the only reason to be part of a tribe is to break from it. I think it is the individuation that must happen in the very act of interacting with family, society, culture as we are born into it.
Reviewed by M.M.Fahren 6/7/2009
has real depth that strikes at the root of why we are what we are in today's world. Once started it's hard to put down and will have you
wanting the next part. A lot of genetic material has passed under the bridge since then but you might share some genetic traits with The Boy.
Who knows. Enjoy.
The writer has an interesting background from which to draw and present this story. Curious for men of such action to show us their soft poetic observations of life. Perhaps this really is the way for those who have really confronted the passions of living and dying unlike those who only write about such things from speculatively sanitized and safe distances.
Such poetry flooding out onto the plains of human existence. Just a boy who would become man (and woman). Innocence tempered with survival to show us the way.
Read between the lines and you will see a far greater picture in this book.
Most recent customer reviews
This book was a great joy to read. I could not put it down.
I would suggest this book The Boy to anyone with
It's story of a boy who is blessed with an inquiring mind, and who is placed in circumstances where he...Read more