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author essay

The Boy Who Went Away: an excerpt

  Every once in a while we stumble across a novel of such evocative power that it transports us, making us forget where and sometimes who, we are. The Boy Who Went Away by newcomer Eli Gottlieb is such a story, one of fierce emotion, and humor that speaks directly to the heart.

Eli Gottlieb's remarkable debut novel flawlessly depicts the emotional chaos that characterizes the often uneasy transition into adolescence. In the literary tradition of Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, The Boy Who Went Away introduces Denny Graubart, a self-proclaimed "highly skilled intelligence operative," who spends one summer spying on and chronicling the slow deterioration of his family as his mother tries desperately to keep his older brother Fad out of an institution. With amazing insights, Denny navigates the rocky path through puberty guided only by his own questioning spirit and the depraved advice of Derwent, the teenager next door. Denny ultimately is forced to confront his family's problems in a way that is at once humorous, raunchy, and ultimately touching. Through Denny's curious eyes, Gottlieb draws us closer to the universal truths of self-discovery and personal courage.

A quick look into Gottlieb's compelling debut is provided in a excerpt from the book, and a sense of the author's irreverent humor comes through in his essay on this year's New Year's Resolution.

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