The Hearts of Men

The Hearts of Men

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A scarred Vietnam veteran and successful businessman reflects on his teen years as a social outcast and friend to a popular youth during a summer camp reunion marked by selflessness and an unthinkable event involving his friend's family members.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062469687
Characteristics: 392 pages ; 24 cm


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Aug 19, 2017

Well-written and conceived, though a little unsteady. Especially at the end, where the whole thing tumbles down in a real melodramatic house of cards. Basically, if you think all men are terrible, this novel goes out of its way to affirm your perceptions.

The story follows three generations of men as they endure a summer Boy Scout camp. We see not only the impact of the fathers, mothers and peers, but of the attitudes of (a declining?) society and (lack of?) moral turpitude as we jump from decade to decade.

There's a lot to chew, and some interesting narrative techniques to twist from generation to generation, but ultimately the story couldn't get out of its own way. The only lesson learned is that boys will be boys, in all their rotten ways.

Mar 26, 2017

Kind of a strange story with a lot of unlikeable characters. But it was still very readable - I finished it in 2 days. However, I find myself thinking that not many boy scouts would enjoy this book. There's a lot of mean and raunchy activities portrayed against the Boy Scout backdrop. Nelson is the shining star in this book, but unfortunately he becomes a supporting character in parts 2 and 3. In general, the book does not paint men in a very good light. It would seem that the "hearts of men" are in a battle of good and evil.


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