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War Boyby Kief Hillsbery
Synopses & Reviews
Fleeing an abusive father, fourteen-year-old Radboy takes to the road with Jonnyboy, an older friend and mentor who is the only person Radboy believes he can trust. On the bus headed out of town they hook up with Finn and Critter, a couple of speed-freak boyfriends who take a shine to both of them.They also meet Ula, who is mourning the death of her fiancó and taking a trip across the United States in his memory.The five become fast allies, united by personal loss and by the allure of intimacy only friends in the throes of conflict can understand. When Jonnyboy drops out of sight, Radboy stays behind in San Francisco, where the underground world he has been introduced to inspires his own burgeoning sexual and emotional desires.
"[An] energetic debut novel....The 'Nocal' post-punk atmosphere...can be grating with its forced edginess, but against the novel's hard-core heart stands Radboy's decency and will to survive." Publishers Weekly
"There's an overload of energy surging through this nevertheless soulful-sentimental first novel....
"[A] fine first novel....While Hillsbery occasionally gives Radboy pop references that he probably wouldn't know...he has expressed the exuberance and wonder of a boy on the cusp of manhood with great authenticity." Steffen Silvis, The Willamette Week (Portland, OR)
"Kief Hillsbery's language is galloping, frenetic, all-consuming, reckless even, but never out of control; the resulting novel is disturbing, hypnotic, and impressive. You won't be able to put it down." Dale Peck, author of What We Lost
"It's rare to be deeply moved by something as apparently hip and accessible as War Boy, but that's the way art works...taking us by surprise once in a while..." The Washington Post Book World
"[A] realistic and affecting portrait....Written in beautiful prose that is alternatively frenetic and poetic, it captures perfectly Rad's unique voice." Brian Kenney, Booklist
"Adults will be impatient with the overly stylistic writing and rather obvious plot....Older teens and twenty-somethings might enjoy the frank and lyrical descriptions of crystal-meth parties and punk music." VOYA
About the Author
Kief Hillsbery was born in Portland, Oregon, and is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. His feature articles on surfing, skateboarding, and rock climbing hav appeared in Rolling Stone, Outside, Mountain Gazette, and other magazines, and he has been a contributing editor and columnist for Outside magazine. War Boy is his first novel.
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