Boy Overboard

by Peter Wells | Teens |
ISBN: 1869413199 Global Overview for this book
Registered by futurecat of Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on 9/6/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, September 6, 2003
From the Whitcoulls sale table.

Peter Wells is a well-known gay NZ author, whose books often explore growing up as a homosexual in small-town New Zealand.

From the cover blurb:
"James is eleven, on the threshold of discovery. But he can't find the map that will explain where he fits in or who he is. His parents are away and he is staying with family friends. The sea is rising towards high tide and he is a boy overboard."

26 June: I've offered this up on the bookrelay site, despite not having read it yet. I do intend to read it before sending it out, but hopefully I should be able to do that pretty quickly (certainly within a week or so).

^ ^

Journal Entry 2 by futurecat from Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand on Saturday, July 3, 2004
Another one of those books I'm not sure whether I liked or not. For a lot of the book I wasn't entirely sure what was going on (Wells plays around a lot with flash-backs, dreams, and imagination), and I got to the end feeling like it probably was a good book, but that I'd missed a lot of the subtleties. Maybe it was just because I was trying to read it quickly for the book relay - it would probably benefit greatly from a slower and closer reading.

Offered up on bookrelay.

^ ^

Journal Entry 3 by winggorydetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, July 21, 2004
The book arrived safely - many thanks! I tend to enjoy stories told with flashbacks or other discontinuities, though sometimes it does get tricky figuring out where, when, or even if the events are actually taking place; looking forward to exploring this one!

Journal Entry 4 by winggorydetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Theme: childhood is hell? OK, the whole story's not that grim, but there are certainly some very disturbing segments, with playground power-games going on along with unrequited crushes and dawning sexual feelings. The main story takes place during a period where Jamie, the narrator, is staying with friends while his parents are away (for business or for medical reasons, I can't remember). Jamie's brother is staying with a different family, so he's pretty much on his own, although he is sometime-friends with the daughter of his host household. I found the scenes where Jamie's brother attempts to help him or get closer to him the most moving parts of the book. More disturbing - and sometimes frightening - were the accounts of some of the games that Jamie and his friends got up to, including a flashback sequence [which would have put Jamie at age 9 at the time] in which he and his brother and two neighbor kids got involved in some fairly intense sex-play... Fairly graphic and troubling, I found it, as it went beyond what I'd have considered typical "playing doctor".

There's also a compare-and-contrast subplot in which the man in whose house Jamie is staying appears to be on the brink of molesting him, but is warned off - and nothing further said. Yet Jamie recalls another incident when he and a friend saw a man walking around nude on the beach, and having mentioned this to an adult found themselves being pressured to point out the "molester" even though the man hadn't even seemed to notice them, much less do anything to them. The discrepancy here is not mentioned by Jamie himself - we pick it up from the narrative - but it's both believable and distressing.

Other aspects of the story center on the unknowable interior world of a child, whether he's idly observing the fish in the creek, mooning over the boy he's infatuated with, or contemplating his future. I could empathize with a lot of that, although I never got as entangled with other kids as Jamie did, so his constant focus on them made me feel a bit claustrophobic. In some ways this reminded me of Ray Bradbury's story "The Playground," in which a man longs to go back to his childhood days only to discover - when his wish is granted - that the playground was hell rather than heaven... Things aren't quite so bad for Jamie, but it's still pretty rough.

I think that by the end of the story Jamie's feeling more comfortable with himself and is closer to his brother; it ends very sweetly, though with no guarantees as to how things will be later on. Interesting story...

Journal Entry 5 by winggorydetailswing at Coffee Labs, 7 Main St. in Tarrytown, New York USA on Saturday, October 2, 2004

Released 19 yrs ago (10/3/2004 UTC) at Coffee Labs, 7 Main St. in Tarrytown, New York USA



I plan to leave the book on the bookshelf in the window of Coffee Labs in Tarrytown at about noon. [Since I'm driving down, the timing may be off by a good bit either way, but eventually the book should be there!]

Journal Entry 6 by jnpert from Ridgefield, Connecticut USA on Monday, September 18, 2006
While in Tarrytown for a wedding, I stopped by Coffee Labs- I'm getting better about looking up OBCZs when I travel and have time to explore. :)

My husband and I grabbed a handful of books once the window area cleared out to see if there was anything we wanted. Of our pile this one was the only registered, so we had to let it travel some more(plus it was from New Zealand which tickled our fancy!)

I've never heard of the book, but might give it a read. It's back in Kentucky with me right now, but we will get it moving again in the near future.


Released 17 yrs ago (1/25/2007 UTC) at Starbucks - Holiday Manor, 4942 U.S. Highway 42 in Louisville, Kentucky USA



Left this on the "Leave One, Take One" book shelf. This book has traveled all the way from New Zealand, so I'd love to see where it can end up!


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