Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy

Have you ever heard that the colors red and yellow catch the eye more than say, green and blue?  Well, the cover of this book certainly caught my attention!  The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers is a novel written for 10-15 year olds but this 57 year old enjoyed it immensely. It kept me happily entertained for several lunch breaks. 

I felt like I was reading a book by Mark Twain and I wanted it to go on and on. Written in the first person by our narrator Grady, it uses phrases like, "Chapter One, In which I jump out of a box and play the Wild Man..." or, "Chapter 11, In which we meet the world's most beautiful eighty-two-year-old." 

As far as Grady knows, he was orphaned and found by Professor Floyd under a palmetto bush when he was tiny. Floyd is the only family he knows. Grady and Professor Floyd are hucksters, "pulling a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier".
Professor Floyd is forever looking for the perfect scam  When he figures on turning the myth of the Wild Men of the Feechiefen Swamp into "reality", his sidekick Grady is in for the show of his life. 

Jonathan Rogers, who has a PhD in 17th century English literature, has filled his book with puckish humour, gentle sarcasm and  southern dialect.  We meet swamp dwellers, cattle drovers and gullible townspeople.  

But  most of all we learn to know and love the terrifically ugly Grady. Homely he may be, and rather battered by life, but his spirit is undampened.  He greets each new day enthusiastically and makes us love him and cheer him on.

Give yourself the treat of a great book and read this latest from the author of The Wilderking Trilogy.


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