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Boy's Life

Narrated by: George Newbern
Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In me are the memories of a boy's life, spent in that realm of enchantments. These are the things I want to tell you....

Robert McCammon delivers "a tour de force of storytelling" (BookPage) in his award-winning masterpiece, a novel of Southern boyhood, growing up in the 1960s, that reaches far beyond that evocative landscape to touch listeners universally. Boy's Life is a richly imagined, spellbinding portrait of the magical worldview of the young - and of innocence lost. Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for 11-year-old Cory Mackenson - a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake - and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible, haunting vision of death. As Cory struggles to understand his father's pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that surround him. From an ancient mystic who can hear the dead and bewitch the living, to a violent clan of moonshiners, Cory must confront the secrets that hide in the shadows of his hometown - for his father's sanity and his own life hang in the balance....

©2014 Robert R. McCammon (P)2014 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Brilliant!

I did not want this to end, I wanted Robert McCammon and the narrator George Newbern to keep entertaining me forever.

It was an absolute joy to listen to the narrator who is a true professional and the story, Boy's Life was interesting, funny, sad, and had me wishing I had grown up in the lovely little town called Zephyr with Cory and the amazing array of people I met who I feel I now know quite intimately.

I didn't think Robert McCammon could possibly write a story which had me hooked as much as Swan Song, but I think he has come mighty close with Boy's Life.
The writing is incredibly clever and I could smell, feel and hear everything alongside Cory as we explored youth together and found ourselves in some pretty amazing situations!

My favorite line was when Cory was riding his brand new bike which he had named Rocket - “At this instant I felt at one with Rocket, as if we were of the same skin and grease, and when I grinned, a bug flew into my teeth. I didn’t care; I swallowed it because I was invincible.”

You all really need to listen to this fantastic story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adele Beeman
  • 18-06-2015

I did not expect to like this book.

But I was pleasantly surprised because it was engaging, well written, and completely pulled me in. Absolutely one of my all-time favorite books. I thought how boring, another coming-of-age story. But I just absolutely loved the entire story. I am going to look for more of his books to read. I'm glad I listened to the recommendations and not my preconceived ideas

146 of 150 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim Venatries
  • 13-10-2014

A Feast for the Senses!

Smell the honeysuckle, summer heat and barbeque. Taste the homemade ice cream and peach pie. Hear the drone of bees and the yells of kids on the last of school before summer vacation. See the tiny town of Zephyr, Alabama and experience life in a small, rural town in the tumult of the 60s. A Boy’s Life is about feeling invincible, protected and being convinced you know what the world is about at the tender age of 12. Until a ghastly murder slowly erodes what you thought you knew. If you read A Boy’s Life in print, enjoy this unabridged Audible treat. It’s as good as you remember. If you never read A Boy’s Life, download it at once. This is a masterpiece.

110 of 113 people found this review helpful

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  • Phillip
  • 16-01-2015

Great read

I have a ton of books in my library and have enjoyed most of them, but this book was special. The story telling was fantastic and it has that nostalgic feel of books like To Kill a Mockingbird. I highly recommend this book, it is simply fabulous.

52 of 53 people found this review helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 18-10-2015

Wonderful !

I loved this story. Sort of a Stephen King coming-of-age theme, with some mystism and horror mixed in. I wish there had been a different narrator, though. George Newbern wasn't the right voice for this IMHO. Otherwise it would have been a (5) star review.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Jimmy Oaks
  • 23-01-2015

Great read

Being from Alabama I relate to the story and see much of my childhood from the sixties in the author's words. Friends never seem as important as they do when you are young. Highly recommended read.

42 of 43 people found this review helpful

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  • Bobalooo
  • 06-11-2014

A Real Winner

Any additional comments?

Most of the books I get through Audible are very good. Not exceptional, but very good. They fill the time while I'm driving an hour or so, or while I'm mowing the lawn or cleaning around the house. That is where there value comes in. Boys Life, however, is the exception. I bought it because of the reviews, but I didn't really expect it to be as good as it is.

I've read reviews before where people have said that a story brought them to tears, but I never quite believed it. I also tend to steer clear of stories where this kind of thing is mentioned in the reviews. And don't get me wrong... I felt that in only a few short sections of the book. However, this story is one where I felt that emotion several times. And I only mention it because I felt for the people in the story. Because they were real, and what they were going through was real. Because Robert McCammon NAILED it in his story telling.

It was so real, and so close to things that I had experienced, that the emotions were right there. But the story was also funny...VERY funny, and at the same time honest and was very indicative of the time it was told. I didn't have all the same experiences, having been raised in the north, but I lived through it, and saw it on tv news.

Don't set expectations too high. Expectations can be crushers. Rather take this book as a ride through the early 60's and allow your self to feel it as you go along. It will stick with you long after the story is done, and you can't ask for any more of that from a story.

99 of 103 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie
  • 03-04-2018

Remember when the Waltons made you feel good?

No, this is not like the Waltons! If you ever watched the Waltons, or the Little Farm on the Prairie, you know what feeling and genre I am going for! All was good with the world because there were good morals. This book will show what was right in those times, but also what was wrong in those times. It is such a feel-good book. The character development is even, but the story despite sometimes being too wholesome, becomes all of a sudden this dangerous maze, where only the good can and will prevail on the bad. You will experience great writing, a murder mystery, good people that come together when the going gets tough, and just young boys that will steal your heart. This is such a different book. If you are looking for something refreshingly new, please get this book. I had such fun listening to it, and my favorite part was when the boys went to the movies to see a movie about aliens. The book talks about magic, and yes, there is magic in this book. Oh, and don't miss the Wasps!! Hilarious. The narrator was great. Worth a credit, worth reading during your commute or just listening. Great Book.
If you liked my review, please vote!
thank you,

38 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Crystal Wilson
  • 09-10-2014

Finally Unabridged

What did you love best about Boy's Life?

The adventures of the young Cory and his world.

What other book might you compare Boy's Life to and why?

I can't think of any book that compares to Boy's Life. Its that amazing.

Would you listen to another book narrated by George Newbern?

Here I wasn't happy. I have the abridged version with Richard Thomas n hoped he'd do the unabridged. The narrator didn't use a southern accent of that place and time. And his mispronouncation words was a disappointment. Like he pronounced Chile as Chil
(Ch-eye-l) when its pronounced Chilly.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the main character Cory went to sit at his friends grave.

Any additional comments?

This is an amazing story about a time in life when the world is an amazing place filled with magic. When you and your friends have great adventures. It makes you wish you were there too.

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 26-12-2014

Dear Robert McCammon, I love your books!

Any additional comments?

What a gift this book is! I enjoyed every single minute. I am a child of this era and anyone who is will be especially pleased. The story is timeless full of wonder!

Robert McKammon is one of my fave authors. He sure can tell a story and never sticks to one genre maybe he doesn't believe in them. A great book is a story, period.



18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Gretchen
  • 17-10-2015

One of the Best Books I have EVER listened to!!!!!

Where does Boy's Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10 for sure maybe even the top 5.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It was not a suspense novel but it was so interesting. The story was vivid in it's descriptions. I saw the town through Corey's eyes. This book was funny, it was intense, it had mystery, and magic. The characters were rich in their growth and their interactions.

Which character – as performed by George Newbern – was your favorite?

Corey, the main character. He is full of wonder at the beginning of the book. He and his friends have so much imagination. As he begins to learn about the dark parts of life his father's guidance stays with him and helps him to become a man of integrity. Then when he sees his own father suffering he stands by his father and encourages him in his darkness. The bond between the two of them reminded me that life is still good, even when terrible realities must be faced.

If you could take any character from Boy's Life out to dinner, who would it be and why?

"The Lady." On the surface she seemed like the town witch, but there was more to her than her witchcraft. She had great wisdom which she had gained from suffering, and she had dreams for future generations. She was a kind person and she had a good heart, but she was funny and one to be feared as well.

Any additional comments?

I loved the variety of quirky characters from the town's naked man who although he seemed crazy, had uncanny wisdom, insight and compassion. "The Lady," the "Demon,"
"the bird lady," the sherrif. The book truley painted a picture of town life before internet, before strip malls, when people in a town knew each other and were there for each other.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms Amanda Thompson
  • 07-04-2015

It's at the top of my list.

What made the experience of listening to Boy's Life the most enjoyable?

It was a wonderfully written complete story that enveloped me inside from start to finish. I don't think there was one character that i didn't like, perhaps the mayor - he was creepy and the German vet and his wife but the story wouldn't have been the same without them. I have recomended it to my Mum and my youngest daughter .

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh it has to be Corey after all it was his story and i believed in it, i was there when it began and sadly when it ended.

Which character – as performed by George Newbern – was your favourite?

Corey - George Newbern brought him to life.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No there were several. The thing is in a story written this well each character brings a parcel of goodies and a couple of rotten apples it's what makes the story believable and very enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

This is the best book i have listened to this year and if you haven't read or listened to it yet or thought it wasn't your genre then do give it a go, i am certain you will not be disappointed.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 23-11-2014

Brilliant!

I read this book ages ago and was so glad I found it here, as I couldn't remember what it was called and was trying to recommend it to folk!

Stand By Me with To Kill a Mockingbird and a sprinkling of supernatural. Corey and his dad are out doing the milk run when a car crashes through the woods and into the lake. They are unable to save the driver but both of their lives are forever changed by the accident.

Corey and his friends play out the next year of their lives with school, baseball, riding their bikes and the constant question of who really killed the driver that day. Like old school Stephen King, you'll love it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • white
  • 25-08-2019

Fabulous book.

what a story teller brilliant narration. highly recommend. A book I will reread many times

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  • Davies
  • 20-08-2019

Once listened to, never forgotten.

Beautiful story, one of the best I've listened to. I read the reviews and decided to see for myself if this book lived up to its reputation. I can honestly say it surpassed it. If you want a quality story that has growing up in the 1960's, pure escapism and nostalgia then this is your book. George Newbern narrates this story so well, takes you on the journey.

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  • jonboy_
  • 22-06-2019

Good story, but overly schmaltzy.

As the title suggests the story centres on a young boy (11 - 12 years old) and the adventures he gets up to in his home town. The story contains many everyday type events / stories involving the main character, playing with friends, dealing with local small town bullies, a camping trip, etc, etc, with an underlying main event, introduced early on, that intermittently feeds through the overall story.

An easy listen, but overly schmaltzy, a bit plodding and cliched, which spoiled it a little for me.

The narrator was a very good match for the story.

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  • Mr. S. Mckenzie
  • 14-04-2019

Loved it.

Beautiful coming of age story and the hard truths of growing up. Murder mystery mixed in with some spooky supernatural elements. Some parts had me creeped out, others with a lump in my throat. Robert McCammon is a fantastic writer and George Newbern does an amazing job at narrating it.

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  • mustangclaire
  • 07-02-2019

Outstanding.

This is the first time I've been moved to write a review. This is the first book from this author I've listened to, and, in my humble opinion, is the best book I've EVER listened to. I'm a BIG Stephen King fan, and this book is the book I imagine King read, to learn how to wrte about kids growing up in small town America. Beautiful story, wonderful imagery, glorious narration. Strongly recommended.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-01-2019

Like Stepping Back to Childhood in the 1960’s

I have read this book several times and will read it again. The characters are vividly described, from the point of view of a thoughtful young boy. There is the discovery of a body in a truck being pushed into a lake at the outset, and this story is woven into the ordinary ness of everyday life. This book reminds me a little of ”Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe”, for it’s warmth and humanity, and detailed description of child hood in small-town America in the 60’s. A lovely read!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-12-2018

yes it is very good

when I started listening I wondered what all the fuss was about and why this book got such consistently good reviews, then I found out, it's really clever how the magic of being young and open minded permeates the different stories that make the main story, there's so many great stories, by the end I just had it on all day,

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  • Ric Oldroyd
  • 04-12-2018

Great story beautifully narrated

Narrator was superb for this story. A great introduction for me to audio books! beautiful story brilliantly narrated. highly recommended.