Synopses & Reviews
Peter Hoffmeister was a nervous child who ran away repeatedly and bit his fingernails until they bled. Home-schooled until the age of fourteen, he had only to deal with his parents and siblings on a daily basis, yet even that sometimes proved too much for him. Over the years, he watched his mother disintegrate into her own form of mania, while his father — a scholar and doctor who had once played semi-pro baseball — was strict and pushed Peter particularly hard. He wanted only the best from his son but in the process taught Peter to expect only the worst from himself. In the midst of his chaotic home life, Peter began to hear a voice — an insistent, monotone that would periodically dictate his actions. When Peter finally entered public school he started to break free from his father's control — only to fall sway to the voice more and more. His obsessive-compulsive behavior morphed into ruthless competition in sports and, ultimately, into lies, violence, and drugs.
The End of Boys follows Hoffmeister to the very brink of sanity and back, in a harrowing and heartbreaking account of the trauma of adolescence and the redemption available to us all, if only we choose to find it.
"In vivid prose, Peter Brown Hoffmeister depicts the relentlessly violent days and nights of a male adolescence. He writes about authorities' failures to protect their young charges, and about the consequences of those failures. At the book's best moments, Hoffmeister looks directly at his rage and tells us what he sees." Sarah Manguso, author of The Two Kinds of Decay
"Compelling from the first page, The End of Boys is a stark and gritty memoir of a tormented adolescence, where the demons of obsessive compulsive disorder, drugs, and violence are banished by the healing light of literature and faith. Both haunting and uplifting, The End of Boys is a touching and powerful account of a turbulent transition from youth to manhood." Jamie Maslin, author of Socialist Dreams and Beauty Queens and Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn
"The End of Boys is remarkable story, a testament to the spirit of young boys everywhere, to mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, to friends and the parents of friends, to teachers, cops, and counselors, to art and literature and the human desire to find a place in the world, to build a meaningful life out of shards and fragments. Peter Hoffimeister has written a terrific book about the human struggle to regain ourselves after great disillusion and desperation. This is a fine book, made of fine true words, each one tough, carefully chosen, and hard-won. I read The End of Boys in one sitting." Dorianne Laux, author of What We Carry, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
About the Author
Peter Brown Hoffmeister is a writer, teacher, and rock climber. He lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and two daughters. This is his first book.