Rule Of The Bone

Bone, this novel’s narrator and hero is now up there with my favorite characters. A coming of age story, addiction, troubled youths, an on the road adventure, some philosophy, a bit of a travel, teenager speak, lots of “jamaica mon’”, living off the earth, friendship, self reliance, luck and taking responsibility for your actions. Those are all subjects tackled by Russel Banks and mixed in one superb story about a 14 year old disadvantaged kid who goes through hell, some more hell and some parts of heaven on his way to precocious adulthood.

It might sound like too many subjects and some of those are often badly handled and corny but somehow it all works together and the kid panhandling and sleeping in squats becomes someone you wish you could meet and talk with.

Magnificent… I believed every word of it, forgot I was reading fiction. Russell Banks has created a story that is both shattering and reassuring, and a narrator, Bone, who will stay with me for the rest of my life.—Roddy Doyle

One of the reviewers on amazon titled his review “A Catcher In The Rye For Modern Times”, that’s one of those expressions used and re-used way too often. This time though, it really applies. Threre aren’t that many books that I plan to re-read, this is one of them.

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