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Boo
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Boo
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Boo is the highly anticipated debut novel from one of the most incomparable voices in Canadian literature: Bang Crunch author Neil Smith. Oliver Dalrymple, nicknamed "Boo" because of his pale...
Boo is the highly anticipated debut novel from one of the most incomparable voices in Canadian literature: Bang Crunch author Neil Smith. Oliver Dalrymple, nicknamed "Boo" because of his pale...
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Description-

  • Boo is the highly anticipated debut novel from one of the most incomparable voices in Canadian literature: Bang Crunch author Neil Smith.
    Oliver Dalrymple, nicknamed "Boo" because of his pale complexion and staticky hair, is an outcast at his Illinois middle school—more interested in biology and chemistry than the friendship of other kids. But after a tragic accident, Boo wakes up to find himself in a very strange sort of heaven: a town populated only by 13-year-old Americans. While he desperately wants to apply the scientific method to find out how this heaven works (broken glass grows back; flashlights glow without batteries; garbage chutes plummet to nowhere), he's confronted by the greatest mystery of all—his peers. With the help of his classmate Johnny, who was killed at the same time, Boo begins to figure out what exactly happened to them (and who they really were back in America) through this story about growing up, staying young and the never-ending heartbreak of being 13.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author-

  • NEIL SMITH is a French translator and the author of the critically acclaimed national bestseller Bang Crunch. He has been nominated for the Hugh McLennan Prize for Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize--Best First Book (Canada), as well as the Journey Prize 3 times. He has also won the First Book Prize from the Quebec Writers' Federation. He lives in Montreal.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from February 16, 2015
    Short story writer Smith (Bang Crunch) delivers a splendidly confident debut novel, a fantasy of emotional healing in a unique afterlife. In 1979, 13-year-old Oliver “Boo” Dalrymple is an intelligent but socially awkward outcast, born with a defective heart. One day, he’s at his school locker, getting taunted by the school bullies as usual, and then he suddenly finds himself in the afterlife, presumably dead from his condition. This afterworld is an unusual one, however, populated entirely by other 13-year-olds who died in the U.S.A., and when his acquaintance Johnny joins him a few weeks later, Boo discovers that he and Johnny were actually shot by an unknown fellow classmate. Along with a number of new friends, Johnny and Boo set out on a quest to discover who shot them and investigate the rumors of portals that would allow them back to the world of the living. Smith smoothly develops his vision of an afterlife in which a theoretical god supplies random items from the living world, electronics run without power, and kids are left to their own devices. The story is never about providing solid answers, but readers who appreciate that sort of ambiguity will find that the emotional payoffs are both surprising and moving.

  • Bryan Lee O'Malley, author of Seconds and the Scott Pilgrim series "Instantly charming, never predictable, quietly profound--Boo is both literarily and literally haunting and, in the end, devastating."
  • Zsuzsi Gartner, author of Better Living Through Plastic Explosives "Part murder mystery, part existential adventure, Boo is an utter charm-bomb of a novel. Neil Smith's version of the sweet hereafter shows not only that heaven can be hell, but answers the eternal question of whether it's better to be dumber with friends or smarter without."
  • Andrew Kaufman, author of All My Friends Are Superheroes and Born Weird "Neil Smith has created a heaven where the sadness and triumph of life aren't flattened or diminished but heightened and intensified. Just like you always suspected it would be. Boo is sad, beautiful, heartbreaking and impossible to put down."
  • Emily Schultz, author of The Blondes "Boo is an astoundingly original novel and Neil Smith's take on the afterlife is convincing, moving, and often funny as hell. A vision equal parts Murakami and South Park."
  • Jessica Grant, author of Come, Thou Tortoise "Who knew heaven could be so funny, so perilous, so exquisitely alive? Boo is a work of singular genius: an adventure story, a mystery and a profound meditation on childhood, lost innocence and the power of friendship to save our lives--and afterlives. I believe in Neil Smith's heaven, with all my heart."
  • Ottawa Citizen Praise for Bang Crunch:"The type of clear-eyed prose that makes seasoned authors weep."
  • The Gazette "There is so much wit and wisdom packed into these stories, you may be frustrated that there are only 9 of them. Smith has managed to write an almost perfect debut."
  • The London Free Press "Neil Smith never fails to surprise. In a startling, over-the-top clutch of stories reminiscent of the work of Bill Gaston and Charlotte Gill, he has made an impressive mark. Bang Crunch is at times heartbreaking, at times warmly humourous; a crisp commentary on the human need for connection, even in the most unlikely circumstances."

Title Information+

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    Knopf Canada
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