I first came across One of the Boys earlier this year on Instagram so when I requested a different book to read and review I got sent this one too which I was so happy about because of seeing a lot of praise for it.
One of the Boys is a story about two boys and their manipulative father. After their parents divorce they move with their father to Albuquerque to start a new life free from all the mess of divorce. Both of the children go to school and begin having friendships and doing some sports which they’re excited about but what soon happens is that their father begins closing himself into his bedroom, they hear some strange noises during the night and see different people coming and going out of their house. What was an idyllic place soon becomes a nightmare for both of the children and they begin questioning the choices they made.
I hope I have summarised this book well and that you get the idea of the same. I’ll talk about the father figure first because he was a very interesting character. From the beginning of the book I knew that something was off with the father [well yes, because of the synopsis but also because from the start you gt a taste of who he is]. I am amazed at how parents can be so manipulative towards their children and have no remorse [in this case the father had ‘remorse’ if you could call it that but it still didn’t stop what he was doing] for their actions. The way he punished his children was very cruel to me what left a huge impact was the way he punished his child towards the end of the book. I don’t want to spoil anything but when you read this book you’ll get a better understanding of what I’m saying here. It amazes me that even though this is a story, a fictional one, this kind of behaviour is common in some families. I could go on about this book and as you can see even though it has 160 pages it can be analyzed in so many different ways.
One of the Boys is a very short book but a very impactful one. At one-hundred-and-sixty pages this book takes you on a rollercoaster ride of abuse, manipulation and hope.
I would like to thank the publisher Granta Books for sending this book my way in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions written here are my own and have not been influenced by anything.
Daniel Magariel is an author from Kansas City. His work has appeared in Granta, Lit Hub, Salt Hill, Stop Smiling, and Issue Magazine, among others. One of the Boys, his first novel, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and Amazon Best Book of 2017, and was published in twelve countries. He has a BA from Columbia University, as well as an MFA from Syracuse University, where he was a Cornelia Carhart Fellow. He currently lives in New York with his wife.
Find him on: Website