One of the Boys | Granta

  • Published: 06/04/2017
  • ISBN: 9781783783489
  • Granta Books
  • 160 pages

One of the Boys

Daniel Magariel

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.

Brilliant, urgent, darkly funny, heartbreaking - a tour de force with startling new things to say about class, masculinity, addiction, and family. Daniel Magariel is an exciting new presence in American writing

George Saunders

Magariel's portrayal of parental treachery, youthful courage and lost innocence is gripping and disquieting

Carys Bray

One of the Boys packs a huge emotional punch. This is the unflinching story of an abusive father and his two sons after he takes them away from their mother, told using wonderfully stark prose. I was particularly affected by how the younger son begins to copy his father in believing that his mother deserved the beatings she received. It was heartbreaking to see him continually hope that even after the broken promises his father would change. I read this book in one gulp, gripping the page and willing the boys to escape

Claire Fuller

The Author

Daniel Magariel received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Syracuse University, where he was a Cornelia Carhart Fellow. He has lived in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, and Hawaii. He currently lives in New York with his wife.

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