Mick Jackson Five Boys: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060013950

Five Boys: A Novel

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When Bobby is evacuated from London to a remote Devonshire village, a strange new chapter of his life begins. Empty of its menfolk, the village is given over to the “stay behinds”: the women, the old and young, and five terrifying boys who accuse Bobby of being a Nazi spy. Then, there is the enigmatic Bee King, a mysterious figure who exercises a powerful, hypnotic influence on the village, and especially the boys.

As the days wind down to the D-day invasion and the Allied soldiers crash the beaches along the French coast, the villagers will enact their own drama -- a tense interplay of events that will engulf them all and ulti- mately reveal the truth about the Bee King.

Brilliantly captivating and thoroughly researched, Five Boys is the tale of the war's impact on the home front, bringing to light a lost place and time with an expert touch.

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About the Author:

Mick Jackson was born in Great Harwood in Lancashire, England. His first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread First Novel Award and won the Royal Society of Authors' First Novel Award. While researching Five Boys, he enrolled in beekeeping classes and to this day, keeps two hives at his home in Brighton, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this funny, touching and highly original novel, a close-knit gang of five boys forms a prism that refracts the idiosyncrasies of WWII English life in a small village in Devon. Ostensibly, the story is about Bobby, a newcomer evacuated from London and the Blitz, who is terrorized and then befriended by the gang. But the real protagonist is the town itself and its unusual denizens: Lillian Minter, the spinster who reluctantly takes Bobby in; the Captain, who spends his days fashioning models of ships wrecked off the Devon coast and, eventually, another newcomer, an apiarist known only as "the Bee King," who introduces the boys to "the harem in the hive." These eccentric characters, and many others, are decisively etched, though the eponymous quintet are strangely undeveloped; only one, Aldred Crouch, emerges from their collective presence. The narrative is episodic, more an integrated collection of seriocomic short stories than a novel with dramatic unity, but these vignettes are a testament to Jackson's writerly skill and imagination. Highly evocative of both time and place, the novel is about the bizarre ways the war affected those left at home and how it changed virtually everything about English life, particularly for the generation too young to serve. Jackson, whose previous book, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker, has a tender, observant eye and a quirky imagination, qualities that bring this work rare luminosity and insight. (June 4)Forecast: Sales could benefit from Jackson's familiarity to American audiences as a former member of the British bands the Screaming Adbabs and the Dinner Ladies. Booksellers can reference John Boorman's movie, Hope and Glory, for a similar evocation of time and place.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780571214228: Five Boys

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ISBN 10:  0571214223 ISBN 13:  9780571214228
Publisher: Faber & Faber, 2002
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9780060013943: Five Boys: A Novel

Willia..., 2002
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