Robert McCammons Krimi „Boy’s Life“

Cory Mackenson is twelve years old, lives in Alabama and likes to tell stories. Dramaturgy, details, dialogues: he masters all of this so perfectly that his friends are very keen on the anecdotes that he shakes from his sleeve. Now some narrators maintain an extremely relaxed relationship with unheard-of events, which arise entirely from their imagination, but help the effect of the story on the jumps. This also applies to fictional characters. Cory is under the urgent suspicion of constantly using the arsenal of his imagination, but he cannot be convincingly convicted.

The boy describes the everyday life of the conceived village of Zephyr in 1964, and suddenly ghosts cross his path, his bike develops a life of its own, helps a little voodoo to solve a murder case. Fortunately, whether this happens in his head alone or is actually part of the narrated world remains uncertain. If Cory’s six hundred-page chronicle called “Boy’s Life” were a film, you couldn’t avoid the “Popcorn Cinema” label.

That what-costs-the-world feeling

Robert McCammon, who published the novel in the United States in 1991, was one of the most important authors of horror literature from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. In “Boy’s Life” he not only shows that he can conjure up vivid shocking scenes with just a few sentences – for example when a dog that has been driven to death is slowly turning into a zombie – but also that all genres and registers suit him. Coming-of-age, comedy, mystery and realism: not many authors can conch such a potpourri to artistic delicacies. Nevertheless, hardly anyone will remember the book published here in 2004 for the first time under the title “Innocence and Disaster”.

For a long time, McCammon refrains from turning the genre screw; rather, he strings together episodes that do not make sense economically, but nevertheless form a viable framework. At the center of several passages sparkles that magical “what-the-world-feeling” that Cory and his friends enjoy as much as the teenagers in Stephen King’s novels.


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