Read: May 16, 2012
I was provided this book in exchange for a review and am not being paid to share my wit and wisdom, etc.
So I was super excited about this book. Mostly because the title brings to mind so many interesting scenarios. None of my imagined plots ever came to fruitation, of course, but the book is just as good as I wanted it to be. Prior reviews have labeled the “voice” spot on as a spoof of Mark Twain’s HUCKLEBERRY FINN in language and description. The author draws on his Georgia roots with folk sayings and accent-spelled spelled words which pleases me to no end because I am also from Georgia and the folks around here seem to be captured in this book’s spirit.
Grady grew up knowing he wasn’t what Floyd told him he was. An orphan and described in delightfully picturesque words as ugly, Grady tells his story in a series of short chapters that are captivating and a day or a few months can elapse between. This kept the story fast paced while still keeping the beautiful simplicity of Grady’s personality and perspective on life. Grady’s world is a world similar to our own, but almost paralleled to the Georgia swamps all the way up to the Appalachian Mountains. This makes for an easy transition from my world to Grady’s, a fact that the author did so seamlessly that I didn’t notice why I loved the book so much until I really thought on it.
This book has been deemed “Christian” although it does not have any religious qualities to it. This is simply because it’s a good “clean” book; it does not have curse words, bad themes (other than lying and being a charlatan), and has Grady struggling with being truthful to who he is and pleasing Floyd his parental figure. It will be a book that I will keep to read to my children when they are in elementary school. Touching on the same feeling as THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, THE CHARLATAN’S BOY is a definite treasure I stumbled upon accidentally and I am so pleased that I did!