Boy's Life (1991)

by Robert R. McCammon

Halloween Reviews 2020
Robert R. McCammon's excellent novel covers a year in the life of Cory Mackenson, a 12-year-old boy growing up in the Southern town of Zephyr. 
Cory and his father witness the disposal of a body in a remote lake, and the mystery of the murderer's identity consumes both father and son for the following year. 
Several supernatural events occur in this episodic, rambling novel, serving to illustrate the sense of wonder that an adolescent feels as he grows more aware of the world around him. 
The supernatural and the macabre have served many writers well as a stand in for the unknown mysteries of the adult world, allowing adult readers to share in the awakening of a young protagonist.
The novel's greatest flaw is that sometimes McCammon strains for effect. 
Passages such as the one in which he compares a boy's feelings for his first bike with his first love are overwritten and come off as fairly ridiculous. 
For the most part, however, it is a gripping narrative that held my interest to the end.


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