- € 9,99
Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer, and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him—whether to support him or to drag him under—is the adult world of postwar Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty, and the redeeming power of imagination. Here are charlatans, operators, alien abductees, schoolyard nudists, and fast girls with only months to live. At the center of it all is a boy learning to navigate the compromises, disillusionments and regrets that come with the territory of living. Mixing memoir and invention, the forty-one short stories in Barry Gifford's first book for young adults bring a city—and a boy's growing consciousness—to vivid, unflinching life.
Gifford s sentimental new novel tracks scrappy, precocious Roy as he finds his way in hardscrabble 1950s Chicago s Polish ward. Roy s life is populated by a crew of wayward boys the Viper, Magic Frank, and Crazy Lester who all must confront violence, mental illness, and death in their cold and windy enclave. The world is not entirely gloomy; Roy s development as a writer and love for his mother are rays of light in even the novel s bleakest moments. Though Roy s adventures have the classic footloose appeal of coming-of-age adventures, it s the rogue s gallery of supporting characters that are most memorable, from the Albanian lothario Cubar Shog and mobbed up Sharkface Bensky to the numerous other cutthroats in Roy s orbit. Gifford, best known for his Sailor and Lula novels (Wild at Heart; etc.), has a soft, transporting touch that makes a strong case for this being a one-sitting endeavor. \n