Boy's Life

Boy's Life Summary

An Alabama boy’s innocence is shaken by murder and madness in the 1960s South in this novel by the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song.

It’s 1964 in idyllic Zephyr, Alabama. People either work for the paper mill up the Tecumseh River, or for the local dairy. It’s a simple life, but it stirs the impressionable imagination of twelve-year-old aspiring writer Cory Mackenson. He’s certain he’s sensed spirits whispering in the churchyard. He’s heard of the weird bootleggers who lurk in the dark outside of town. He’s seen a flood leave Main Street crawling with snakes. Cory thrills to all of it as only a young boy can.
Then one morning, while accompanying his father on his milk route, he sees a car careen off the road and slowly sink into fathomless Saxon’s Lake. His father dives into the icy water to rescue the driver, and finds a beaten corpse, naked and handcuffed to the steering wheel—a copper wire tightened around the stranger’s neck. In time, the townsfolk seem to forget all about the unsolved murder. But Cory and his father can’t.
Their search for the truth is a journey into a world where innocence and evil collide. What lies before them is the stuff of fear and awe, magic and madness, fantasy and reality. As Cory wades into the deep end of Zephyr and all its mysteries, he’ll discover that while the pleasures of childish things fade away, growing up can be a strange and beautiful ride.
“Strongly echoing the childhood-elegies of King and Bradbury, and every bit their equal,” Boy’s Life, a winner of both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards, represents a brilliant blend of mystery and rich atmosphere, the finest work of one of today’s most accomplished writers (Kirkus Reviews).

Book Reviews

russ kram

Old south4 star

Great story and surprise ending. All the chapters are like short stories which ramble along with a common theme and common characters. Having grown up in the south it takes me back to my childhood.45

Am book reader


This book has it all...murder mystery, magic and mayhem. The old cliche holds out...”I couldn’t put it down “.55


I wax poetic about this I stg5 star

I read this book when I was 16 and have never forgotten it. It’s the only book I absolutely recommend to everyone. It changed my life and is the most important book I’ve ever read.55


Amazing author!5 star

Can we do 6 stars, please? I don’t know if Mr. McCammon reads these reviews, but if you do, I have to say that your writing is so insightful and evocative that it truly inspires me to want to pull out 2-3 quotable quotes on every page! The story itself is filled with wonderful, richly drawn characters and magic. Thank you!55

Wise chic

Boy’s Life5 star

Amazing read! This is the kind of book that keeps you up at night, turning pages. Loved every second!55


Great book, really keeps your interest.5 star

Very well done, excellent characters, and a really nice little town. With a few quirks, of course. I would highly recommend this book.55


Boy's Life5 star

More than once I laughed, cried, and thought of the people in my life so very similar to those in Zephyr - this is a classical, masterful tale of life. Thank you Robert McCammon for sharing your storytelling. I've purchased 4 additional copies of Boy's Life for three of my children and one for my best friend. They know I believe you are a modern day Mark Twain!55

Donna Eller

Boys Life5 star

Excellent!!!! - I didn't want the book to end - What a wonderful story teller this author is - I became friends with the characters in this book - highly recommend!!!!!!!!!55


Boy's Life5 star

This was a fantastic book, it rates right up there in my favorites category. Set in my time frame, I could relate to the comics, movies, TV shows, products AND playing outside - the only rule was to come home when the street lights came on. Whole summers of absolute freedom - what a great and special time to grow up in! It was funny, horrifying, suspenseful and perfect. The characters were so real and compelling that I laughed and sobbed. I really liked that at the end it was explained what happened to them when they grew up. Great read.55


"BOY'S LIFE" by Robert McCammon5 star

Like some other reviewers have said, this is one of the most enjoyable & magical books that I have had the pleasure to read. I Have read it at least 3 times, & will go back to it again! McCammon Really knows how to tell a story, with intelligence & mystery & takes the reader to all the fascinating places of childhood & growing up, when playing outside & exploring places children shouldn't go but always did, were just part of being a kid, especially in small town USA. The additional threat of the Nazi scheme just adds more spark & intrigue. Prepare to stay up late when reading this book! It is a Wonderful experience! In my opinion, the best of his other great novels.55

Other Books by Robert McCammon

Swan Song


Swan Song
4.5     513
Speaks the Nightbird


Speaks the Nightbird
4.5     83


4.5     80

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