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The Boy Who Shoots Crows Paperback – December 6, 2011
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Top Customer Reviews
"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...Read more ›
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite some over-writing (more descriptive material than needed) it was a good read.Published 5 months ago by Ruth Harman
Can I give this book zero stars? This is one of the worst books I have ever read. So many descriptive words for how bad she feels put me right off. TerriblePublished 20 months ago by Paul Freiheit
From the outset I loved this novel. The dark premise reminded me of Faulkner in his prime. I have always enjoyed the works Silvis crafts, but this piece stands as a step above the... Read morePublished on May 27, 2014 by Chris Leonard
The title and back cover blurb got me to buy this book without reading it. A rare for me. It's an original tack on a mystery for me. Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by unemployed nmartist
I would have given five stars but I didn't like how the book ended. It is a book that you just want to keep reading to find out what happens, but I was just disappointed in how it... Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The story gave me a migraine, just like the main character in the book. The mystery was bleak and dismal, leading to a depressing ending. Read morePublished on September 16, 2012 by Erin
When speaking of depression, the experience that springs most readily to mind is sadness; a melancholy so profound that its victims are weighed down into a completely inert state. Read morePublished on April 15, 2012 by Shroud Magazine's Book Reviews
The Boy Who Shoots Crows by Randall Silvis is set in a small Pennsylvania town, but its style and grim tone make me think of atmospheric British crime fiction, or perhaps a little... Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by Sidney Williams
Twelve-year-old Jesse Rankin eats his breakfast one morning, but doesn't show up at school. His backpack is still at home, but his hunting vest, boots, and shotgun are missing. Read morePublished on February 4, 2012 by CJ-MO