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The Boys of Summer: A Novel
     

The Boys of Summer: A Novel

by Richard Cox
 

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Both a haunting coming-of-age story set in North Texas against the backdrop of a deadly tornado, and a character-driven, deeply-affecting supernatural thriller.

In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life.

Four years later,

Overview


Both a haunting coming-of-age story set in North Texas against the backdrop of a deadly tornado, and a character-driven, deeply-affecting supernatural thriller.

In 1979, a massive tornado devastates the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, leaving scores dead, thousands homeless, and nine-year-old Todd Willis in a coma, fighting for his life.

Four years later, Todd awakens to a world that looks the same but feels different in a way he can’t quite grasp. For Todd, it's a struggle to separate fact from fiction as he battles lingering hallucinations from his long sleep.

The new friends Todd makes in 1983 are fascinated with his experience and become mesmerized by his strange relationship with the world. Together the five boys come of age during a dark, fiery summer where they find first love, betrayal, and a secret so terrible they agree to never speak of it again.

But darkness returns to Wichita Falls twenty-five years later, and the boys—now men—are forced to reunite and confront the wounds from their past. When their memories of that childhood summer refuse to align with reality, the friends embark upon a search for truth that will threaten their lives, and transform their understanding of each other—and the world itself—forever.

Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/19/2016
This slow, repetitive novel is part coming-of-age story, part tale of suspense, and about twice as long as it should be. In 1979, a tornado nearly destroyed the Texas city of Witchita Falls and forever altered the lives of five boys. Four years later, each boy—now adolescent—is still haunted by the killer storm. Strangest is Todd Willis, just awakened from a four-year-long bout of “catatonic schizophrenia” caused by the storm. Despite his lost time, he’s oddly mature for his 13 years, making up songs—like the eponymous Don Henley tune—that haven’t been written yet. Another boy writes a short story that summarizes a future Stephen King novel. Under Todd’s influence, the boys commit arson but are never caught. Then, 29 years after the tornado, someone starts burning down important locations from each boy’s life. Finding the culprit means uncovering secrets from the past. After a promising opening, Cox (Rift) frustrates the reader with repetitious scenes, flat characterization, and frequently awkward writing make this story merely frustrating rather than tense or surprising. Agent: Matthew Bialer, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“This beautifully written supernatural thriller will no doubt remind some readers of Stephen King’s It, and perhaps also of Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, but make no mistake: this is no knockoff. Cox’s story is vibrantly original and his characters are intricately detailed.”
Booklist

“Mind-blowing . . . Captures the same spirit of dreadful nostalgia that made Stranger Things a recent smash hit for Netflix . . . Think of [The Boys of Summer] as the best Stephen King novel not by Stephen King (a true compliment).”
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog

“I really enjoyed The Boys of Summer . . . If you liked Stranger Things you’ll probably like this too.”
LitReactor

“Make no mistake, Cox has spun a hell of a yarn. Rich and complex characters, razor-blade prose, and a must-be-read-to-be-believed premise. Not since Stephen King's It has there been such a poignant and exhilarating parable about family, friendship and the demons that hitch a ride as we hit each our own lonesome road from childhood to adulthood.”
—Fred Strydom, author of The Raft

The Boys of Summer is a thrilling ride, as twisty and unpredictable as a tornado. Cox will keep you turning pages deep into the night.”
New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Evison

“Richard Cox charges into urban fantasy with the hallucinatory, devastating The Boys of Summer. The book Stephen King would have written if he'd been born on the wind-ravaged plains of North Texas.”
—Sean Beaudoin, author of Welcome Thieves and The Infects

The Boys of Summer is a tense, intriguing, and beautifully observed puzzle of a book, so craftily plotted that it kept me guessing right to the end.”
—Tom Toner, author of The Promise of the Child

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597808781
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
09/06/2016
Pages:
436
Sales rank:
186,566
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author


Richard Cox is the alleged author of three previous novels: Thomas World, The God Particle, and Rift. He claims to lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then again, you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

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