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American Boy (2011)

by Larry Watson

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18715114,393 (3.65)38
On Thanksgiving Day 1962, the shooting of a young woman sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota, all revolving around Matthew Garth, who becomes obsessed with the shooting victim and with the lavish lifestyle of a local doctor's family.
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» See also 38 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
“I was seventeen years old when I first saw a woman’s bare breasts, in itself an unremarkable occurrence. But when you consider that I also saw my first bullet wound on that same body, you have a set of circumstances truly rare.”

That body, and the woman it belongs to become the center of the world for young Matthew Garth, and the focus of this tale. A tale about how a boy tries so hard to become a man. And how heroes rarely stay heroic. And how “There are destructive forces at loose in the world, from which neither buildings nor families can be saved.”

A very well written tale! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | May 16, 2021 |
Not really a big fan of this one; it was in my "to read" list, probably from a cursory glance at a review list. I am often picky about my general fiction, and this one did not particularly appeal to me in the end. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Perhaps a shade below the excellence of "Let Him Go" or "Montana 1948," this novel still contains Larry Watson's characteristic blend of flawed men and women in the mid-century American West, slowly tightening suspense involving family, and prose that is somewhere on a scale between Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Very much worth a read. Cannot wait to get my hands on "As Good As Gone." ( )
  ChristopherSwann | May 15, 2020 |


Maybe it's "just a phase I'm going through" but this is a hell of a story.

A harsh landscape, hard lessons and an awakening not to be envied combine to make up a a story that packs a punch.



( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
Well written, moving story of two boys growing up together. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
With his graceful writing style, well-drawn characters, and subtly moving plot, Watson masterfully portrays the dark side of small-town America. Highly readable and enthusiastically recommended.
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Donna Bettencourt (Oct 1, 2011)
 
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On Thanksgiving Day in 1962 I was seated at the dining room table with the Dunbar family, father and mother, eight year old twins Janet and Julia, and Johnny, who was my age.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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On Thanksgiving Day 1962, the shooting of a young woman sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota, all revolving around Matthew Garth, who becomes obsessed with the shooting victim and with the lavish lifestyle of a local doctor's family.

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