One of the Boys
A father and his boys have won ‘the war’: the father’s term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave Kansas and drive through the night to their new apartment in Albuquerque. Settled in new schools, the brothers join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. Soon his missteps – the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late-night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters – become sinister, and the boys find themselves watching him transform into someone they no longer recognize.
Set in the stark landscape of New Mexico and the family’s cramped apartment, One of the Boys delivers a superbly nuanced portrait of a violent and menacing man, manipulating the world around him that it might service his idea of himself. Brutal and urgent, this masterful debut is a story of survival: two brothers driven to protect each other from the father they once trusted.