The Charlatan's BoyPaperback
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- Publisher: Waterbrook Press (A Division of Random House Inc)
- Format: Paperback | 320 pages
- Dimensions: 132mm x 201mm x 20mm | 113g
- Publication date: 5 October 2010
- Publication City/Country: Colorado Springs
- ISBN 10: 0307458229
- ISBN 13: 9780307458223
- Sales rank: 1,002,381
"I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud." As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act. It's a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as "The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp." But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore. When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders' belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd's Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan's Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life--and will change his path forever.
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Jonathan Rogers grew up in Georgia, where he spent many happy hours in the swamps and riverbottoms on which the wild places of "The Charlatan's Boy" are based. He received his undergraduate degree from Furman University in South Carolina and holds a Ph.D. in seventeenth-century English literature from Vanderbilt University. He lives with his family in Nashville, Tennessee.
By THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK 07 Aug 2012
Grady has no memory of his origins. Not for lack of trying, though; he has spent many hours trying to remember a family or home before Floyd, a huckster who makes his living perpetrating hoaxes on villages. Each time he asks Floyd where he came from, he receives a different story. One story is that he found him squawling under a palmetto bush; another story is that his real mama gave him away because he was too ugly to keep. Grady is inclined to believe that one, because he looks different from everyone else. He looks like a feechie, and Floyd makes a living by showing Grady as a "genuine, real live, he-feechie". As they make the rounds fleecing the villagers, Grady is on a journey to the knowledge of who he truly is.
If I believed in reincarnation, and I don't, I would claim to have found the "genuine, real live, reincarnation of Mark Twain". Jonathan Rogers' writing style is so reminiscent of Twain that it is eerie. For everyone who ever felt sad because they realized they had read all of Twain's works, and now there is nothing to look forward to, here is the answer. And when I read his blog and realized that he also likes and is influenced by Flannery O'Connor, I was even happier. Anyone who likes Twain and O'Connor is okay by me. This novel was categorized as YA, but this middle-aged woman enjoyed it just as much today as I would have at 13. Jonathan Rogers is a writer for all ages.
Definitely 5 stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group book review bloggers program . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Praise for Jonathan Rogers"The unusual settings and characters keep the surprises coming, while Rogers's lovely descriptions and distinctive voice keep the pages turning. Faith fiction readers of all ages should enjoy this..."--"Publishers Weekly""Jonathan Rogers knows how to tell a story. He'll take you to fantastic lands that somehow still feel close to home and keep you happily guessing until the end. His fantasy tales ring of folklore and seem to spring up out of history like old willows in an earthy bog. Dr. Rogers never fails to serve up uncanny adventures that, like some impossibly nutritious brownies, are ridiculously tasty and deeply fulfilling."--Wayne Thomas Batson, best-selling author of The Door Within Trilogy"Jonathan Rogers has created a new kind of story--part fantasy, part southern fiction. It's sad and funny and heartwarming. Imagine a southern version of a C. S. Lewis story or a Christian version of a Mark Twain tale. Imagine a world where dragons are alligators, the American South is an island kingdom of cowboys and swamp dwellers, and ugliness, it turns out, is profoundly beautiful. Jonathan Rogers, a Georgia boy with a PhD, a strong faith, and a healthy imagination, gives us a timeless story no one else could have written. I loved it."--Andrew Peterson, author of The Wingfeather Saga