The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

August 7, 2011 | By | 4 Comments

This here is a book which might be disregarded as something for a younger audience. However, before you automatically assume it’s not for you, recall this quote by C.S. Lewis:

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.

I’m here to tell you that this book isn’t just for kids. Despite the “young adult” label* it can most certainly be enjoyed by adults. And, as the reader so often finds him or herself in the story, the book has a lot to teach those who are willing to listen.

It’s a story about a desperately lonely boy named Grady who doesn’t know who he is or where he is from. All he knows is a con artist legal guardian of sorts, who might even be his father. As the book puts it, “I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud”. That man’s name is Floyd. Floyd is a charlatan and Grady is the charlatan’s boy.

In search of adventure and perhaps lunch-money, they go from village to village and scheme to scheme putting on a show which can be best described by reading the book or a more articulate review. Though Floyd is pretty despicable, Grady does his best to win Floyd’s approval. As Grady puts it, “A feller’s got to love somebody don’t he?” At the very least, he has to love somebody and all he has is Floyd. As Grady goes about winning Floyd’s approval, he learns some things about himself which will surprise the reader just as much they surprised the protagonist. Grady doesn’t go on an adventure by himself. He takes the reader with him.

This unique, touching and imaginative tale is subtly hilarious and a perfect blend of sadness, reality, fantasy and triumph. The ending in particular is among the best I have read in a long time. I have only recently discovered Jonathan Rogers and I am so glad that I have. Not only does he know how to tell a story, he has the kind of insight which doesn’t come around too often. When I do find someone like Rogers, I want to benefit from every last drop of profundity. The Charlatan’s Boy is a good place to start.

Editor’s Note (still Mark as I double as the editor): I highly recommend you check out Jonathan’s blog. It can be found at:  Also, I will send a free copy of this book to the first person to leave a comment so long as you live in the U.S. or  Canda, only because I like you (and don’t mind Canada).

*I suppose young adults are different from kids anyhow. I just wanted to be able to use that C.S. Lewis quote.

(Legal Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. However, I also bought a copy for myself.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Category: Reviews

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erin says:

    Couldn’t help but notice that no one has commented on this yet…so I am because I love books and this sounds like a good one! However, I have already won a book before, so if you’d rather wait for comment #2 that’s fine. :)Hope you are doing well!

  2. roxy says:

    ummmm HI! still reading your blog. I will check it at the library. You made it sound very intriguing.

    P.S. I like kids books.

    • Mark says:

      Hey Roxy! Yes, it’s very good! Even though it says “young adult” on the cover, it’s really fitting for all ages. If you do have the chance to read it, let me know what you think!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: