2016 Edgar Award Winner 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 dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Allen Kurzweil is the prize-winning author of two novels for adults—A Case of Curiosities and The Grand Complication—and two works of fiction for children—Leon and the Spitting Image and Leon and the Champion Chip. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations and the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, Kurzweil is currently a fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and son.
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a good read until about half way through, then I began to lose interest. There was too much of the book about the bully's involvement in illegal money making schemes, and the lawsuit that followed. I found myself skipping pages just because it was boring to me. It got better toward the end again when he met up with the bully.