Friday, February 25, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy; A Review

Thanks to Waterbrook Multnoham Publishing Group and Blogging for Books, I was recently sent a copy of The Charlatan's Boy to review. This book has rave reviews in many literary circles, so I was excited to get a copy. I practically pounced on the UPS man when he dropped it off. I tore open the package and started reading right there in the entry way (What can I say, I am kind of a book nerd). 


The Charlatan's Boy is a story about Grady, an orphaned boy who is raised by a traveling huckster, Floyd. It is unclear as to what his relationship to Floyd is and Floyd is tight lipped about Grady's origins. They travel the country together performing various acts that  play off of Grady's ugliness. As they travel and work together, Grady starts to understand that Floyd is a showman through and through and blowing smoke every chance he gets. Even at Grady's expense. Usually at Grady's expense. Grady begins to question his origins even more and question his relationship with Floyd. He has a longing to belong somewhere to someone. By the end of the book they have reached an inevitable crossroads in their relationship.

I soooo wanted to like this story and love the characters, but I just couldn't. While it is well written, I had a constant feeling of being unsettled while reading it. I felt like I was missing something and not getting the whole story. The characters were well developed but I just couldn't connect with them. I also had a hard time with the setting.  I never got a good sense of where they were or where they were headed. In the end I couldn't put it down...I just wanted to get to the end and be done with it.

Sadly, I didn't enjoy The Charlatan's Boy. Maybe if I read it again at a later time I will enjoy it more. Maybe I truly did miss something. Or maybe I didn't buy into the smoke and mirrors like everyone else.

Have you read The Charlatan's Boy? What did you think? Am I missing something?

I was given this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing group for the purpose of reading and reviewing. I received no compensation and the opinions expressed here are my own.

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