Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris…

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (edition 2001)

by Chris Fuhrman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
289938,912 (3.82)13
Title:The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Authors:Chris Fuhrman
Info:University of Georgia Press (2001), Paperback, 200 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Read in 2012, 1990s, stars, *3.5

Work details

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I was pretty young when I read this, and I remember being terribly interested in all the tidbits about sex. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This book seemed like the contemporary adult version of Tom Sawyer and without Twain's type of ending. That said, it was a great read and it really did seem reminiscent of Tom Sawyer with the main character/narrator, Francis, being Huck to his friend Tim's Tom. There was also touches of race issues throughout and I'd say even a Becky Thatcher - although again , much racier than what Twain wrote.

The only disappointment - well two really, the first being that there were definitely passages and subjects that aren't for kids, this book will never be used in school and I think it would have been something that would have gone over well - although by name alone, there would have probably been groups hellbent on banning in (see what I did there?)
The bigger upset is that Fuhrman died from cancer just after finishing his final draft of the book and it makes you wonder what great work the world missed out on. If this was just the tip of the iceberg, we missed out on a lot. ( )
1 vote Sean191 | Dec 10, 2014 |
Even though the cliche punishment-for-loss-of-virginity thing happens, this novel sparkles with excellent prose. The last fifty pages are especially tight, and Margie is far more complex and interesting than the initial pages might lead someone to believe. Quite different from the movie. An excellent novel. HIGHLY recommended. ( )
1 vote JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS - a great, attention-getting title. And it's a pretty damn good book too. But the truth is if I hadn't happened across the film adaptation of this book, I probably never would have read the book, which was published posthumously, a few years after Chris Fuhrman (1960-1991) died of cancer. It is, sadly, his only book. I suppose it's a pretty accurate look at life in a Catholic school in the 70s, even if the central characters are a bit far out in left field in their outrageous antics. Eighth grade: it's a tough time for most kids. But narrator Francis Doyle and his best friend, Tim Sullivan, are pretty unique in the way they seem to spurn all they've been taught in the rigidly narrow confines of Catholic doctrine. Self-professed atheists and talented artists, these two, along with a few other close friends who comprise their 'gang,' experiment with spirits (the alcoholic kind, not the Holy one), dope, sex, and other more subtle forms of rebellion. Francis gets brutal beatings from his father who works for a chicken-processing plant, Tim seems to be nearly ignored by his academic parents. And Margie, Francis's seventh grade girl friend has been molested by her older brother and has made a half-hearted suicide attempt. Comic freaks all, Francis and Tim's gang have created a highly offensive and obscene comic book featuring the priests and nuns of their parish. The book ends up in the priest's possession and could jeopardize their chances of graduating from the eighth grade. So they concoct a dangerous plan involving wild animals to draw attention away from their comic book offense. No spoilers here, but the narrative draws you surely and steadily towards a shocking conclusion.

There are also plot elements involving the racial tension of the times. William Blakes's poetry and art are thrown in there. There is a ghost, alligators and wildcats, and even a juicy first teen sex scene, making this book something of a teen potboiler. But the writing is good enough to pull it off.

Perhaps because I saw the film version before reading the book, I was just a tiny bit disappointed. Because the film is actually better. The plot elements are drastically rearranged in the film, with things added and omitted. The film also incorporates some great animated sequences throughout, attempting to bring to life the wild super-hero fantasies of our thirteen-year old artists. Take my word for it, it is an extremely entertaining film. I'm sure my two grown sons (now in their forties), former comic book enthusiasts, would love TDLoAB.

The differences between the book and the film are great enough that, well, the stories are changed. Here's my recommendation: read the book AND watch the film. Both are worth your time. ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Mar 13, 2013 |
This was a quick, fun read. It tells about a 12 year old boy, Francis and his first love with a troubled girl named Margie, as well as his friendships with his tight-knit group of friends and the mischief they get into. It reminded me a lot of Stand by Me or The Sandlot. I loved the film version of this book, so I was excited to read it, and it did not disappoint in any respect. ( )
1 vote AlbinoRhino | Mar 6, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

The antics of a band of rebellious boys in a parish school in Georgia. The tricks they get up to include creating a comic book that shows priests and nuns in compromising situations and stealing a bobcat from a nature reserve which they release in the school.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
4 wanted

Popular covers


Average: (3.82)
1 2
2 2
3 18
3.5 5
4 26
4.5 3
5 16

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 115,068,690 books! | Top bar: Always visible