Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Charlatan’s Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Hello Dear Readers,

Get a copy of this one under the tree this year for any of your young'uns. This book would also be great for Grandpaw to read to the the whole family each night. The Charlatan's Boy  is quite captivating. 

Enter the world of Grady, and the Feechie. As you read about them, you will probably realize you might have see a Feechie, in disguise probably acting like civilized folk.  Grady isn't a real Feechie, though he would rather think he was sometimes than wonder where he really came from. Being shown off as the World's Ugliest Boy isn't much fun, but what is a feller to do for a living? Grady often longs for another life, but at the same time can't bring himself to leave the only man he has ever know, the one who has raised him, Floyd. 

Floyd will not tell Grady where he really came from, and sometimes it is just heart rending for Grady to not know who his parents were, but at the same time he can't blame them because who would want to keep a child as ugly as him? 

Grady's got a good honest soul, and he would rather work in the Feechie trade than several of Floyd's more dishonest ventures. A man has to eat, but Grady would rather do that with a kind of fun and prank that feels more honest and has more showmanship to it than selling folk fake liver pills, or bottles of cod liver oil type things to make you young again. 

About when things are at their worst Floyd decides to make sure that the whole island knows that Feechie aren't dead or gone. They are alive and well, and scary! To help everyone believe again Grady and Floyd set out on a grand scheme to create quite a scare. Grady even winds up using a "roaring machine". I remember hearing about those from my Grandparents. Seems they make such a dreadful noise that they were outlawed in some place for scaring cattle. 

And I am not going to tell you what happens from the great Feechie scare on. You are going to have to The Charlatan's Boy for yourself to find out if the Feechie are going to wind up murdering people in their beds at night, or eat'n up all the cows on the Drover's trail. 

Carol :)  

“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”

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.

When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.


“Jonathan Rogers has created a new kind of story—part fantasy, part southern fiction. It’s sad and funny and heartwarming. Imagine a southern version of a C. S. Lewis story or a Christian version of a Mark Twain tale. Imagine a world where dragons are alligators, the American South is an island kingdom of cowboys and swamp dwellers, and ugliness, it turns out, is profoundly beautiful. Jonathan Rogers, a Georgia boy with a PhD, a strong faith, and a healthy imagination, gives us a timeless story no one else could have written. I loved it.” —Andrew Peterson, author of The Wingfeather Saga

Book link  - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0307458229
Author’s blog/web site - http://jonathan-rogers.com/ (Be sure to check out the Feechie Film Festival for some fun!!!)

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

Participants’ links
Sally Apokedak
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Bruce Hennigan
Christopher Hopper
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Allen McGraw
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Donita K. Paul
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Elizabeth Williams
Dave Wilson


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Excellent review, Carol. You've given readers reasons to buy the book and you've let them know about the product so they can see why you made your recommendations. And posting a sample of Jonathan's writing is the capper as far as I'm concerned. His writing is hard to resist.


Jonathan Rogers said...

Carol, you're the fourth CSFF blogger to mention that he or she had heard of real-world roaring machines. Somebody operated a roaring machine when my father was growing up near Gum Swamp in Georgia, but apparently it wasn't as unusual as I thought it was. What did your grandparents tell you about the roaring machines they had heard of?

sally said...

The roaring machine is real? I have been greatly deprived by missing out on a childhood in the south.

Great post! I'd forgotten about the "We'll be murdered in our beds" bit. That was classic stuff.