The Boy in His Winter

The Boy in His Winter : An American Novel

2.95 (184 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Make[s] Huck and Jim so real you expect to get messages from them on your iPhone." --SCOTT SIMON, NPR Weekend Edition "Brilliant...The Boy in His Winter is a glorious meditation on justice, truth, loyalty, story, and the alchemical effects of love, a reminder of our capacity to be changed by the continuously evolving world 'when it strikes fire against the mind's flint,' and by profoundly moving novels like this." --JANE CIABATTARI, NPR Launched into existence by Mark Twain, Huck Finn and Jim have now been transported by Norman Lock through three vital, violent, and transformative centuries of American history. As time unfurls on the river's banks, they witness decisive battles of the Civil War, the betrayal of Reconstruction's promises to the freed slaves, the crushing of Native American nations, and the electrification of a continent. Huck, who finally comes of age when he's washed up on shore during Hurricane Katrina, narrates the story as an older and wiser man in 2077, revealing our nation's past, present, and future as Mark Twain could never have dreamed it.
The Boy in His Winter is a tour-de-force work of imagination, beauty, and courage that re-envisions a great American literary classic for our time. Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. His recent works of fiction include the short story collection Love Among the Particles, a Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year, and three books in The American Novels series: The Boy in His Winter, a re-envisioning of Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; American Meteor, an homage to Walt Whitman and William Henry Jackson named a Firecracker Award finalist and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; and The Port-Wine Stain, a gothic psychological thriller featuring Edgar Allan Poe. Lock lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 127 x 190 x 15.24mm | 184g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 1934137766
  • 9781934137765
  • 1,903,512

Review quote

Praise for The Boy in His Winter Reader's Digest "Great Books from Small Presses That Are Worth Your Time" Huffington Post "Best New Book" BuzzFeed "30 Science Fiction And Fantasy Books To Buy" Flavorwire "50 Excellent Fabulist Books Everyone Should Read" Library Journal "Discoveries" selection Publishers Weekly & Spartanburg Herald-Journal Escape "Pick of the Week" "Make[s] Huck and Jim so real you expect to get messages from them on your iPhone." --SCOTT SIMON, NPR Weekend Edition "Brilliant... The Boy in His Winter is a glorious meditation on justice, truth, loyalty, story, and the alchemical effects of love, a reminder of our capacity to be changed by the continuously evolving world 'when it strikes fire against the mind's flint,' and by profoundly moving novels like this." --JANE CIABATTARI, NPR "[Lock] is one of the most interesting writers out there. This time, he re-imagines Huck Finn's journeys, transporting the iconic character deep into America's past--and future." --Reader's Digest "Boldly reimagines Huck Finn... Striking and original... The premise may be an outlandish brain-twister that takes risks with a sacred American myth, but the vessel stays afloat by virtue of [Lock's] wily ingenuity." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution "To call [The Boy in His Winter] a work of fiction is to tell only part of the story. This book is as much a treatise on memory and time and the nature of storytelling and our collective national conscience ... much of it wildly funny and extremely intelligent." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "Lock has long been one of our country's unsung treasures... While Twain offered a panoramic skewering of his time, Lock reimagines the travels of Huck and Jim as a survey of the history and future of America... Lock has made [Huck and Jim] not only fresh but new." --Green Mountains Review "Norman Lock is a master of the unusual. Cast through his inimitable creative lens, [The Boy in His Winter] is much more than a unique concept. It's a rich, textured story that'll leave you unsteady on your feet, as any great water adventure should." --Slice magazine "Hypnotic... A delightful and profound journey." --Flavorwire "A true American novel--in many ways as moving as Mark Twain's original." --CounterPunch "Lock's work mines the stuff of dreams... [In The Boy in His Winter] Huck Finn and Jim set forth down the Mississippi River and journey through a century and a half of American history, to alternatingly thrilling and horrific effect." --Rumpus "Hypnotic as it is profound." --New England Review "I read a short excerpt and was immediately hooked... I'm no time traveler myself, but the novel has all the makings of a wonderful film, so I wouldn't be surprised if you're placing your hold on the DVD in a few years, too." --Barrington Courier-Review "In recent years, Twain's fiction has been revisited by a host of American writers looking to experiment with the world he built. Norman Lock's The Boy in His Winter is one of the resulting works, taking Huck and Jim down the Mississippi River, but also accelerating the passage of time, so that they're able to take in decades of changes and societal turmoil, to a wrenching and powerful effect." --Signature "Lock plays profound tricks, with language--his is crystalline and underline-worthy--and with time, the perfect metaphor for which is the mighty Mississippi itself." --Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review) "Remarkable... Lock writes some of the most deceptively beautiful sentences in contemporary fiction. Beneath their clarity are layers of cultural and literary references, profound questions about loyalty, race, the possibility of social progress, and the nature of truth. They merge with an iconic American character, tall tales intact, to create something entirely new--an American fable of ideas." --Shelf Awareness for Readers (starred review) "An eclectic hybrid of literary appropriation, Zelig-like historical narrative, time-travel tale and old-style picaresque." --Kirkus Reviews "The Boy in His Winter is delightful, glorious. It is less a book one merely reads than itself a river one allows oneself to be borne along in, carried in currents and eddies, lured to false banks and sunken towns and so forth. The places Huck/Albert winds up--in the yacht industry, Googling the world's rivers, and finally impersonating his nemesis--seem so perfect, yet each one serves as a burst of surprise. And, of course, the sentences--what is one to say about them except that Lock is one of our great miniaturists, to be read only a single time at one's peril. I will recommend it to every reader I know." --TIM HORVATH, author of Understories "In this surreal and otherworldly river journey through time, Norman Lock transports Huck Finn down the Mississippi and deep into America's history--and future. Elegant and imaginative, The Boy in His Winter is a tale that's as hypnotic as it is profound." --GILBERT KING, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America "I read Norman Lock's The Boy in His Winter with delight and amazement. Styled in the vernacular of a rapidly changing America, it stays true to the themes of Mark Twain's original: class relations, race and slavery, childhood innocence, moral hypocrisy--and, of course, the stark beauty and unforgiving nature of America's greatest river. I finished this absolutely elegant narrative feeling that Huck Finn has never been more alive." --DAVID M. OSHINSKY, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story and Worse Than Slavery: Parchman Farm and the Ordeal of Jim Crow Justice Praise for Norman Lock "One could spend forever worming through [Lock's] magicked words, their worlds." --Believer "No other writer in recent memory, lives up to [Whitman's] declaration that behind every book there is a hand reaching out to us, a hand to be held onto, a hand that has the power to touch us, to make us feel." --Detroit Metro Times "Lock is a rapturous storyteller, and his tales are never less than engrossing." --Kenyon Review "Lock's writing is beautiful, with clean, clear, perfect sentences ... seducing the reader with language and narrative into a fully realized alternative world." --Shelf Awareness for Readers "Lock's stories stir time as though it were a soup ... beyond the entertainment lie 21st-century conundrums: What really exists? Are we each, ultimately, alone and lonely? Where is technology taking humankind?" --Kirkus Reviews "Our finest modern fabulist." --Bookslut "A master storyteller." --Largehearted Boy "[A] contemporary master of the form [and] virtuosic fabulist." --Flavorwire "I can't think of another author who takes such evident, vocal delight in bending the laws of physics and geography (to say nothing of his flouting of various narratological and fictional norms). You can feel the joy leaping off the page." --Full Stop "[Lock] is not engaged in either homage or pastiche but in an intense dialogue with a number of past writers about the process of writing, and the nature of fiction itself ... taking a trope that seems familiar to readers of the weird but analysing it in the fiercest detail." --Weird Fiction "[Lock's] window onto fiction [is] a welcome one: at once referential and playful, occupying a similar post-Borges space to the short stories of Stephen Millhauser and Neil Gaiman." --Vol. 1 Brooklyn "All hail Lock, whose narrative soul sings fairy tales, whose language is glass." --KATE BERNHEIMER, editor of xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me and Fairy Tale Review "[Lock] has an impressive ability to create a unique and original world." --BRIAN EVENSON, author of Windeye and Immobility
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About Norman Lock

Norman Lock is the award-winning author of novels, short fiction, and poetry, as well as stage, radio, and screenplays. He has won The Dactyl Foundation Literary Fiction Award, The Paris Review Aga Khan Prize for Fiction, and writing fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Lock's recent works of fiction include the short story collection Love Among the Particles, a Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year, and three books in The American Novels series: The Boy in His Winter, a re-envisioning of Mark Twain's classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that Scott Simon of NPR's Weekend Edition hailed for "make[ing] Huck and Jim so real you expect to get messages from them on your iPhone;" American Meteor, an homage to Walt Whitman and William Henry Jackson named a Firecracker Award finalist and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; and The Port-Wine Stain, a "mesmerizingly twisted, richly layered." (New York Times Book Review) homage to Edgar Allan Poe and Thomas Dent Mutter. Lock lives in Aberdeen, New Jersey, where he is at work on the next books of The American Novels series: A Fugitive in Walden Woods, his homage to Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Wreckage of Eden, his homage to Emily Dickinson, and Feast Day of the Cannibals, his homage to Herman Melville.
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Rating details

184 ratings
2.95 out of 5 stars
5 10% (19)
4 20% (37)
3 35% (64)
2 23% (43)
1 11% (21)
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