The Charlatan's Boy

The Charlatan's Boy
Jonathan Rogers

As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.

It's a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as "The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp." But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.

     As this book has been described as "C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain rolled into one" I figured it could go either way for me: I love C.S. Lewis but am not overly fond of Mark Twain. The cover intrigued me, though, with its vintage circus-y look.
     To my surprise, there were things I loved about this book. To some, it may sound silly, but I loved the names of the chapters. Titles such as "In Which I Jump Out of a Box and Play the Wild Man of the Feechiefan Swamp", "In Which We Get Out of the Feechie Trade and I Begin My Formal Education" and "In Which We Commence Terrorizing the Populace" made me laugh and put me in the mind of Charles Dickens. Which, in my case, is always a good thing.
     The actual style of writing was also enjoyable. This was an interesting, unusual novel that really didn't seem so much of a fantasy as much as, well, a Twain tale. It reminded me of Huck Finn. The book didn't really grab a hold of my attention though- despite its good points, it just wasn't a plot line that I was terribly interested in- in other words, it just wasn't "my style". The Charlatan's Boy had Christian themes, I suppose, but I'm not sure I would categorize it as "Christian" fiction. However, readers who enjoy fantasy or Southern fiction, I'm sure will want to pick this novel up.

Rating: 6

I recieved this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


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