Goat Boy of the Ozarks

Overview

It's 1966, Christmas Day, the Missouri Ozarks. Johnny Bell, not quite 16, is found in a snowdrift along a farm-to-market road by a fundamentalist farm family named Ogletree. Johnny came from Brownsville, Texas to the Ozarks, walking much of the way, with his grandfather, George Bell. George, a dying man, had determined to return to the home place he abandoned during the severe drought of the early 1950s because of a fabulous heritage he hopes to pass on to Johnny. Shortly after their arrival, George dies. Johnny ...
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Overview

It's 1966, Christmas Day, the Missouri Ozarks. Johnny Bell, not quite 16, is found in a snowdrift along a farm-to-market road by a fundamentalist farm family named Ogletree. Johnny came from Brownsville, Texas to the Ozarks, walking much of the way, with his grandfather, George Bell. George, a dying man, had determined to return to the home place he abandoned during the severe drought of the early 1950s because of a fabulous heritage he hopes to pass on to Johnny. Shortly after their arrival, George dies. Johnny is taken in by the Ogletree family, over the objections of Charley Larkin, a preacher, businessman, and Republican candidate for sheriff who was great friends with Johnny's father, an itinerant evangelist killed in the Korean War. Johnny, caring for the Ogletrees' chickens and goats, becomes great friends with the Ogletrees' oldest daughter, Suzanne. Another friend is a goat he finds in the woods, and names "La," after the queen in Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. But Johnny can't get along with Everett, head of the Ogletree clan, and retreats to his own place, where he lives in an old machine shed. There he fixes his father's 1938 Ford coupe and schemes how to make a living, at last hiring out as a "hillbilly" in a brand-new theme park. An English teacher named Ruth Koontz casts him in a melodrama called GOAT BOY OF THE OZARKS, and Charley Larkin encourages Johnny to become an evangelist. But Johnny must find his own path, and he has a legacy to claim.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780615459356
  • Publisher: Stockton Lake Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/4/2011
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

John Mort's first novel, Soldier in Paradise (1999), was widely reviewed and won the W. Y. Boyd Award for best military fiction. Other books include Christian Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2002), and Read the High Country: A Guide to Westerns (2006). His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, the Boston Globe, The Iowa Review, and many other magazines. Mort lived in the Missouri Ozarks as a boy, near Mountain Grove, and raised chickens and hogs and pumpkins, and hunted and fished, and swam in farm ponds. He's building a cabin in southwestern Missouri.
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