“I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud.”
As far back as he can remember, the orphan Grady has tramped from village to village in the company of a huckster named Floyd. With his adolescent accomplice, Floyd perpetrates a variety of hoaxes and flimflams on the good citizens of the Corenwald frontier, such as the Ugliest Boy in the World act.
It’s a hard way to make a living, made harder by the memory of fatter times when audiences thronged to see young Grady perform as “The Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp.” But what can they do? Nobody believes in feechies anymore.
When Floyd stages an elaborate plot to revive Corenwalders’ belief in the mythical swamp-dwellers known as the feechiefolk, he overshoots the mark. Floyd’s Great Feechie Scare becomes widespread panic. Eager audiences become angry mobs, and in the ensuing chaos, the Charlatan’s Boy discovers the truth that has evaded him all his life—and will change his path forever.
My take on this book:
The Charlatan's Boy captures your imagination as it draws you into the world of Feechie's and the lives of Floyd a flim flammer, who is always thinking up the newest scheme to make money and young Grady a boy who travels with him and is drawn into his elaborate schemes!
All Grady ever remembers is traveling with Floyd from village to village playing a feechie, he has played the roll for so long that it gives him an identity, never knowing anything about himself other than what Floyd tells him, he has always longed for a place to belong, a family of his own,he always believed though what Floyd said must be true, that he was so ugly that his mom didn't want him, so he spent his young life finding an identity in the role of Feechie that Floyd had him playing. When towns folks stop coming to the shows because they no longer believe in Feechies he starts to wonder again where he belongs and if he is really just an ugly orphan that nobody loves!
I fell in love with the character of Grady, even though people treated him cruel, and the scammer Floyd was really one of the worst, blaming poor Grady when something went wrong and devising scams where he would showcase Grady's ugliness,Grady never let it get him down, he had a good heart and was always kind, he really just wants someone to love him, his longing for a dog really tugged at my heart.
As you read each chapter you follow Floyd and Grady's escapades from one botched scheme to another, alot of them laugh out loud funny! With enough twists and turns to keep you drawn into the story and an ending that surprised me, I really can't wait to read the next installment of Grady's story that will continue in the fall of 2011. A great book that is geared toward young adults that will capture their imaginations as they are drawn into the world of Feechie's and the life of young Grady!
Even though I was provided a copy of this book for review it in no way alters my opinion of this book.