- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Bantam (February 3, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553382071
- ISBN-13: 978-0553382075
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,013,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Boys Are Back in Town Paperback – February 3, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In his latest well-crafted horror novel, Stoker-winner Golden (The Ferryman) presents a nostalgic, unsentimental portrait of adolescence. A young reporter, Will James, whose career has stalled due to his obsession with debunking the supernatural, returns home for his 10th high school reunion to discover that his memories of the events of his senior year are not only news to his classmates but are actually changing into recollections of much darker events. Youthful experiments with the black arts have set in motion ripples that are altering his present reality in unsettling ways. Will travels back in time to the period immediately before his prom to set things straight, only to realize that someone is actively working to destroy him and his friends-and that person is using more powerful magic than his own. Golden addresses the issue of how one's identity is intimately bound to the memory of one's experiences: change the memory and the personality is changed. More sensitive younger readers will pick up on the book's moral lessons, while adult fans will overlook the didactic element and appreciate the suspenseful plot and strong atmosphere.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Will James reluctantly decides to attend his tenth high-school reunion. He's perplexed when his friend Mike doesn't show, but when he asks his friend Danny about Mike, Danny tells him Mike died during their senior year. Will is horrified to actually feel his memories changing. He can remember an e-mail he exchanged with Mike just a week ago, but he does also recall Mike being killed when a drunk driver hit him 10 years back. What's more, suddenly, before Will's eyes, Ashleigh--his best friend in childhood--changes from a happy young mother of two to a woman still scarred by the rape and subsequent abortion that robbed her of the capability to have children. Kyle, the teenager living in Will's old house, turns out to hold the key to all this weirdness. When he brings Will a book of Dark Magick, memories Will has blocked for 10 years come flooding back, and he realizes the root of his problems may indeed lie in his own actions in the past. Golden takes a truly creepy fantastic premise and delivers in spades; this gripping story is not to be missed. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This works great. The book doesn't ever jump off that click to pure fantasy, it stays grounded in reality, or rather the unreality of what is going on is just as unreal, though undeniable, to the characters.
The only negative thing I could say about this book is the last 1/3rd made me stay up way too late. Couldn't stop this book once it got it's momentum going.
The books I read tend to gravitate toward fantasy and horror, so there's a fair bit of magic in most of my stories of choice. However, I don't know if I've ever read a book that dealt with magic like that in The Boys Are Back in Town.
The book offers a great blend of warm nostalgia and gritty suspense, with many twists and turns and a plot that keeps pounding right up until the last page.
In The Boys Are Back in Town, Boston tabloid writer, Will, is getting ready to head home for his 10-year high school reunion. He's not thrilled about seeing the high school sweetheart who left him at the alter, but has been conned into going by his best friend and former girl next door, Ashleigh. Despite the dread of seeing his ex-fiancee and living up to the fact that he hasn't become a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, he's eager to see all of his old friends -- especially Mike Lebo, who he hasn't seen in years, but has been catching up with over e-mail.
When Will arrives at the reunion weekend, though, strange things start happening quickly. When he asks about his friend Mike, he's startled to learn -- and then remember -- that Mike died their senior year. Soon other strange memories start taking over Will's mind, and facts about his friends start changing, too. In some cases, even his friends themselves are changing before his very eyes. Will (and readers) are left with the mystery of unraveling what's real and what is illusion, and how to make heal both the past and the present in this tale that spans 11 years.
The story, overall, is chilling but not truly scary. It's disturbing, but not gory. The story line does jump around from Will's high school days to the present time, but the author does a great job of making sure that readers don't get lost along the way. And the ending? Let's just say, I didn't see it coming. Great, great stuff.
This was my first foray into the writing of Christopher Golden, and I'm very excited to pick up another of his novels in the future. He is very economical in his word use (which usually kind of turns me off) but I thought it really worked well in this story. He writes teenage boys exceptionally well, and it was refreshing to read something that was so unexpected and engrossing. [close]
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