Why did I put this one off for so long? Why, why, why?
Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Certainly one of the finest novels about the magic of childhood that I've ever read — and probably the most realistic, at least based on my childhood experiences. Maybe it's because I, like the protagonist of this novel (and Robert McCammon himself), grew up in Alabama. Boy's Life is spot-on, and I felt like a child once more while untangling the mystery of the strange murder in Zephyr.
Not much I can say about this one, except it's just friggin' wonderful. I only wish it were longer. Thank you, Mr. McCammon, for reminding me that magic does exist.
“You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves."