Monday, July 18, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy... Too Much Hype

As a continued quest to read more books for pleasure, I received The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers for review. On all the websites this novel is described as:
"As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.

When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever."

After seeing various raving reviews about this novel, I was very excited to be receiving this book from Watermark Multnomah Publishing. Boy was I disappointed! I had to force myself to finish the book. Not a good sign.

I really had no interest in the story of any of the characters. I did not feel any connection to the characters which made finishing the book a chore. The story as a whole was not very intriguing. Yes, it was a feel good story, but there was very little new to the main premise; underdog orphan character finds his happiness.

Lastly, the absurd language and grammar really rubbed me the wrong way. As a fan of Mark Twain, I was drawn to Rogers' novels. Disappointed, really disappointed.

Overall, I feel as though the other reviews out there talk up this novel more than it needs or deserves.

Disclaimer: I received this book for review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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