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The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys: A Novel
     

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys: A Novel

4.8 9
by Chris Fuhrman, Fuhrman Christopher, Dean Rohrer (Illustrator)
 

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Set in Savannah, Georgia, in the early 1970s, this is a novel of the anarchic joy of youth and encounters with the concerns of early adulthood. Francis Doyle, Tim Sullivan, and their three closest friends are altar boys at Blessed Heart Catholic Church and eighth-grade classmates at the parish school. They are also inveterate pranksters, artistic, and unimpressed by

Overview

Set in Savannah, Georgia, in the early 1970s, this is a novel of the anarchic joy of youth and encounters with the concerns of early adulthood. Francis Doyle, Tim Sullivan, and their three closest friends are altar boys at Blessed Heart Catholic Church and eighth-grade classmates at the parish school. They are also inveterate pranksters, artistic, and unimpressed by adult authority. When Sodom vs. Gomorrah '74, their collaborative comic book depicting Blessed Heart's nuns and priests gleefully breaking the seventh commandment, falls into the hands of the principal, the boys, certain that their parents will be informed, conspire to create an audacious diversion. Woven into the details of the boys' preparations for the stunt are touching, hilarious renderings of the school day routine and the initiatory rites of male adolescence, from the first serious kiss to the first serious hangover.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Times

Fuhrman handles his material with wit and grace. There are no false remembrances, there is no condescension; the boys appear here in all their gum-chewing, insult-spitting, girl fantasizing naivete and candor.

Newsday

Fuhrman takes wicked pleasure in scraping teen innocence against the graveled, perverse underbelly of suburban childhood.

Creative Loafing

One of the most strikingly original novels of recent memory.

Boston Book Review

The author's real triumph lies in his ability to plumb wild young minds, to reveal the ardent romantic hearts that beat within wisecracking boys. Their wild, unselfconscious beauty permeates the book. . . . We may never know what a loss [Chris Fuhrman's death] was. Who knows how many other brilliant, beautiful, heartbreaking books he may have written?

Commonweal

This book deserves many, many readers. . . . A memorable, funny, and poignant depiction of a glorious boyhood chased down and brutally terminated . . . A story as odd, vivid, painful, splendid, and sad as adolescence itself . . . Fuhrman's posthumous debut invites wistful speculation about the sort of career which might have followed it.

Boston Globe

The moral of the story . . . has so much gravity and grace. . . . This is the real thing, writing done with everything on the line . . . The death of Chris Fuhrman is an incalculable loss to this generation of writers. We should be glad to have his testimony.

Chicago Tribune

The freshness of Fuhrman's novel comes from his ability to squeeze out of a time of transition universal evocations of rebellion against growing up. . . . Fuhrman provides his story and characters with enough originality to keep the narrative clipping along and his reader totally absorbed.

From the Publisher

"Fuhrman handles his material with wit and grace. There are no false remembrances, there is no condescension; the boys appear here in all their gum-chewing, insult-spitting, girl fantasizing naivete and candor."—Washington Times

"Fuhrman takes wicked pleasure in scraping teen innocence against the graveled, perverse underbelly of suburban childhood."—Newsday

"Heartbreaking yet hilarious . . . By marrying the earnest to the ridiculous, Fuhrman captures the sublime intensity of adolescence."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"One of the most strikingly original novels of recent memory."—Creative Loafing

"The moral of the story . . . has so much gravity and grace. . . . This is the real thing, writing done with everything on the line . . . The death of Chris Fuhrman is an incalculable loss to this generation of writers. We should be glad to have his testimony."—Boston Globe

"This book deserves many, many readers. . . . A memorable, funny, and poignant depiction of a glorious boyhood chased down and brutally terminated . . . A story as odd, vivid, painful, splendid, and sad as adolescence itself . . . Fuhrman's posthumous debut invites wistful speculation about the sort of career which might have followed it."—Commonweal

"The author's real triumph lies in his ability to plumb wild young minds, to reveal the ardent romantic hearts that beat within wisecracking boys. Their wild, unselfconscious beauty permeates the book. . . . We may never know what a loss [Chris Fuhrman's death] was. Who knows how many other brilliant, beautiful, heartbreaking books he may have written?”—Boston Book Review

"The freshness of Fuhrman's novel comes from his ability to squeeze out of a time of transition universal evocations of rebellion against growing up. . . . Fuhrman provides his story and characters with enough originality to keep the narrative clipping along and his reader totally absorbed."—Chicago Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820323381
Publisher:
University of Georgia Press
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
1,367,988
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.59(d)

Meet the Author


Chris Fuhrman grew up as a Catholic in Savannah, Georgia, where he was born in 1960. He received his master's degree from Columbia University. Fuhrman died of cancer in 1991 while working on the final revision of The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, his first and only novel.

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Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captivates teenage life to the second and has a great mix of fiction and reality to make it the best realistic fiction novel around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Movie is my fav movie and I watch it about ever week...i really love it...When I found out it was first a book I had to get it... The book was so much better then the movie (and that is how is should be...) I have to say I cryed and there are lines in that book that will never leave me... ' Im still in love with her memory..' or somthing like that...a must read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my new favorites. I picked it up after noticing the cover art, but it's the story that's attention-worthy. This book is witty and charming, filled with the kind of nostalgia-inspiring writing that makes readers want to be 12 years old again. It's extremely short too; I read it in one sitting. This book is well worth the time investment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie a while ago and decided to get the book in light of the incredibly unique cartoon graphics/comics. The book was as great as the movie was. I absolutely love it and any teenager (especially males) will love it! Any teenager can appreciate it as I feel it is thee most accurate portrayal of life as a teenager. It's the most unique story I've ever read and even though the pranks are silly they're well planned and fun to read. I would recommend it to ANYone..
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book! Even though I especially loved the movie and they did an excellent job casting (especially Frances and Tim), the book was great too! Serves as a very insightful novel into the rebellious hearts of young Catholic schoolboys
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captures the lives of teenage boys in a way that few can. Great coming of age novel! The movie is great also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie first about 9 times and i loved it. I decided to read the book and it was great i never thought that it would be as good as the movie but it was. Even when you know whats going to happen its an interesting and exciting read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a really good book and opens up a troubled teenage life and helps you understand it a little bit better. with an unexpected twist at the end that will shock you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the first word to the last, Author Chris Fuhrman holds you in a world of teenaged life. He portrays this world in a very down to earth sense, with no glamour at all. This is probably one of the books better features. The characters really feel pain and the reader follows the hard world of parental expectations and teenaged troubles. It was a book i couldn't put down, I was engrossed the entire time. The book is sad at times, action packed at times and throughout the entire novel there are moments of pure teen talk. Chris Fuhrman captures the true side of teenaged conversation, which causes the book to be incredibly funny the entire time. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys is a literary masterpiece and I reccomend it to everyone who ever was, or currently is, a teenager. The book is amazing.