Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully

Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully

by Allen Kurzweil

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Overview

Winner of the Edgar® Award for Best Fact Crime

The true account of one boy’s lifelong search for his boarding-school bully.

Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles prize-winning author Allen Kurzweil’s search for his twelve-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some forty years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world’s largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California.

While hunting down his tormentor, Kurzweil encounters an improbable cast of characters that includes an elocution teacher with ill-fitting dentures, a gang of faux royal swindlers, a crime investigator “with paper in his blood,” and a  onocled grand master of the Knights of Malta. Yet for all its global exoticism and comic exuberance, Kurzweil’s riveting account is, at its core, a heartfelt and suspenseful narrative about the “parallel lives” of a victim and his abuser.

A scrupulously researched work of nonfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage.

Whipping Boy features two 8-page black-and-white photo inserts and  83 images throughout.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062269485
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/20/2015
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Allen Kurzweil is a prize-winning novelist, children's writer, inventor, and journalist. His work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Vanity Fair. He is a graduate of Yale University and the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Table of Contents

Part I Switzerland 1

Part II "We Hope to Make Your Journey Unforgettable" 45

Part III "A Lie, A Contrivance, A Fiction" 69

Part IV Submission 101

Part V Window Dressing 135

Part VI "What Lies Within Us" 155

Part VII Scoundrel Time 179

Part VIII "Paper in his Blood" 199

Part IX On Your Mark 221

Part X Parallel Lies 249

Acknowledgments 285

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