- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (March 14, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1501156160
- ISBN-13: 978-1501156168
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One of the Boys: A Novel Hardcover – March 14, 2017
The Amazon Book Review
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An Amazon Best Book of March 2017: One of the Boys is an intense, immersive, debut novel that is a shining example of precision storytelling. A 12-year-old boy and his older brother are forced to take sides in their parents’ bitter divorce, and what follows is both unexpected and heartbreaking. Convinced that their mother was the villain of their family story, a frightening truth starts to show through the cracks as they begin a new life with their father. As their father spirals into addiction, the narration of a young boy’s confusion and increasing fear offers powerful insight into an experience most of us can’t begin to imagine. The strength the brothers give each other is a testimony to their bond and how they will find a way out of the increasing violence and irrational behavior that pulls at them like quicksand. Author Daniel Magariel tells a harrowing story of guilt and betrayal tempered by flashes of absurdity and grace that left me deeply grateful for the journey. --Seira Wilson, The Amazon Book Review
“Feral and tender . . . a gorgeously tight tale swelling with wisdom about the self-destructive longing for paternal approval and the devastating consequences of clinging to rotten models of masculinity. . . . Magariel’s gripping and heartfelt debut is a blunt reminder that the boldest assertion of manhood is not violence stemming from fear. It is tenderness stemming from compassion.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“A knockout debut... A shimmering, heartbreaking portrait of children fiercely devoted to a damaged parent and of the intense sibling bond that helps them through.” (People)
"A slim, deeply affecting and brutal story, One of the Boys is about the fierce power of a father-son relationship... what Magariel achieves is a novel that makes readers feel what it would be like to live on high alert all the time; to be at the mercy of a father's addictions, crackpot whims and surges of violence. He also makes us feel what it would be like to still love such a father. The subject of One of the Boys is archetypal, but Magariel's novel depicts it with the power of stark revelation. We cannot turn away." (NPR, Fresh Air)
"Striking... A novel of short, blunt, often powerful sentences... Musical and painterly." (Boston Globe)
"One of the most striking debut novels of the year... one of the most affecting portrayals of the bonds that keep us tied to family... It's [his] compassion and deep understanding of the dynamics of addiction that make Daniel Magariel's slim book an important one." (Rolling Stone)
"Brilliant, urgent, darkly funny, heartbreaking—a tour de force with startling new things to say about class, masculinity, addiction, and family. Daniel Magariel is an exciting new presence in American writing." (George Saunders, author of Tenth of December and Lincoln in the Bardo)
"Precise and coiled and urgent. Magariel is able--as few writers can--to say so much in so little. A propulsive and intense debut." (Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life)
“With a charismatic, macho, drug-addicted dad, the young narrator pays an awful price to be One of the Boys in the riveting debut novel by Daniel Magariel. Move over Great Santini, this patriarch is rendered with such artful love, you'll be haunted by his presence long after you close this graceful and heartbreaking book.” (Mary Karr, author of Lit and The Liar's Club)
"A captivating portrait of a wayward father, brimming with charm and trouble." (Justin Torres, author of We the Animals)
"Haunting." (The New Yorker)
"A deeply affecting portrait of innocence lost. Like Emma Donoghue’s Room, One of the Boys is impossible to resist as we root for these young men to escape their brutal (yet charismatic) father. We feel the strength of the child through Magariel's precise, understated and unflinching prose, which builds in emotion and suspense by keeping us very close to how each moment leads to the next. A beautiful debut." (Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others)
"Daniel Magariel's absolutely brilliant and beautiful novel is that rarest thing: an incredibly mature book about kids. Not since I read Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping have I felt so at once in the presence of the magic-logic terrors of childhood and the too real and consequential realms of adults. The children in this novel act like loving, terrified parents; the parents behave like the most destructive of children. Yet Magariel has managed to tell the story of this failing family with so much love and gentleness that the lasting impression of this novel--full of enraging scenes and calamitous decisions--is of the unknowing courage unique to youth.” (Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances)
"Short but haunting... Scenes of paternal neglect under the Southwestern sky call to mind certain chunks of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch... A stunning discussion of parent-child loyalty, masculinity, and how the only person we can truly save is ourselves." (Booklist)
"A stunning and tragic portrait of both the joys and limitations of love." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Joining Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life in its brilliant picture of a boyhood twisted by abuse and Justin Torres' We the Animals in both its concision and its portrait of the bond between brothers, Magariel's debut is sure, stinging, and deeply etched, like the outlines of a tattoo. Belongs on the short shelf of great books about child abuse.” (Kirkus, starred review)
"Slim and sharp as an ice-pick." (Library Journal)
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Top customer reviews
It's narrated by the 12-year-old brother, the youngest of the two, and begins with his father manipulating him into framing his mother so that the three guys can flee to New Mexico and start over.
From there, things just get worse and worse. Their father, who starts off subtly manipulatively, gradually becomes more erratic and violent, while his sons struggle to protect each other from this person they once trusted.
It's a brutal story about psychological and physical abuse and the devastating toll it takes on one shattered family. I flew right through it.