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The Boy Who Shoots Crows Paperback – December 6, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Randall Silvis lives in Pennsylvania.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (December 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042524346X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425243466
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,113,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frederick C. Bucheit on August 11, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I prefer a physical copy of a book but I could not wait to get a copy of
"The Boy Who Shoots Crows" so I fired up my kindle and tasted
some instant gratification. One of the draws of the book's title came from the
fact that I was a boy who shot crows, and have forever regretted it.
I finished the book in less than 24 hours; I could not put it down. What a masterful
work of art. The imagery and symbolism is wonderful--
"the dead black bird on the blood-speckled snow".
 
"the dim tunnel over burbling water," and "the tall, narrow tollbooth with majestic spire," but
"empty, unmanned." She wrapped up the description with: "At the end of the covered bridge, or
the opening, depending on which way you enter, I looked down into the clear water and saw a
school of tiny minnows. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of them, all wriggling and
squirming as they fought against the current, each struggling to lash its way upstream."
 
"It was late January, she told herself. Maybe four in the afternoon. Overcast. Frigid. The sun had
been nothing more than a dull ember barely showing through the gray."
 
I would expect quality from anyone chosen by Joyce Carol Oates as the best in a writing contest, and I was not disappointed.
Randall reminds me of Faulkner, but better. To an extent, Randall has the reader
write the story for him by subtly suggesting ideas that we then extrapolate along the way.
I particularly liked the ending. It fit well with the beginning and the middle, unlike a lot of fiction I have read. Some authors write themselves into a corner then resort to the bizarre or the highly improbable in order to end the story...
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. It is a mystery, and complexly wrought.. and I could not put it down once I started, until I finished reading all 356 pages. But what I LOVED about this novel... and why I am recommending it --is that the author takes you through the mystery, seducing you into taking another step ... with such beautiful language, such palpable longing --- that the journey - in and of itself- leaves you breathless too. I was awestruck by every tender sentence.

If you want the quick satisfaction of a slick suspense novel you can read in an hour or two... you'll be disappointed. If, however, you want a beautiful windy walk in the night woods with a poet that holds your hand while you face your own fear of the dark .... you will thank the stars for Randall Silvis's lovely book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is expertly crafted with a smooth poetic flow that remains intact to the last page. I was skeptical of the exert from a review printed on the book that referenced it as "poetically written." My skepticism was quickly dismissed by chapter 10 and I found this statement to be a well deserved compliment to the author's work. The detailed descriptions and high quality metaphors written into this book are hard to find in new fiction. The author, without question, invested a great deal of creative energy and time into weaving them in seamlessly to the storyline.

While progressing through the storyline, the ending does not remain latent for long. It is clear where the story is heading from an early point in the book, but I did not find this as a disappointment. The feeling of suspense that I enjoy in a book was satisfied by learning the events leading to the conclusion. The ending fit the storyline well and a plot twist would have been unnecessary.

On a side note, I thought this book captured the social culture of rural Pennsylvania realistically. Growing up there, I found a humorous quality to it with the warm feeling of looking through memories in a scrapbook. An entertaining read that is well worth the time investment to finish it.
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Format: Paperback
How often have you seen the hype written on book covers that proclaim the book in your hand to be “the best this year”, “a page turner”, etc. Do you believe it? Well this time you can! The book cover boasts a quote by The New York Times Book Review which states “A masterful storyteller”. What can I say?
I concur.
The protagonist in “The boy who shoots crows” is an artist who has moved from the city to rural Pennsylvania to recover from a failed marriage. She has the idea that the idyllic peaceful setting will cure her soul and prove as an inspiration to her art. The description in the novel is told as seen through the eye of an artist using a lot of imagery which enables the reader to vividly imagine the action and setting.
The renovated farmhouse where Charlotte Dunleavy has taken up residence adjoins a wooded area. The novel opens with a police officer knocking on Charlotte’s door early one early spring morning to ask her if she had seen a young boy from the area who has been reported missing. The boy has been seen many times by Charlotte as he goes to the wood to shoot crows on a regular basis. However, this time she tells the officer that she has not seen him. She does say that she saw an older boy, Dylan, spreading lime on the fields and that he left his tractor to enter the woods that day…
The police officer, Marcus Gatesman, is a widower who is immediately attracted to the lovely Charlotte. He sees her vulnerability and her fragility and feels the need to protect her from life’s dark side. And he has seen the dark side. Many years of police work coupled with the loss of his beloved wife and infant daughter in a car accident, ensure that he is well versed in the fact that bad things sometimes do happen to good people.
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