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The Boys are Back: Movie Tie-in Edition    by Simon Carr order for
Boys are Back
by Simon Carr
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2009 (1991)
Hardcover, Softcover, Audio
*   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Simon Carr's The Boys are Back was originally written and released in the UK eighteen years ago. The book is divided into four sections, each one relating a different period in the lives of the author, who is a British journalist, and his two sons, Hugo and Alexander. Hugo, oldest; Alexander, youngest. The memoir is constructed from diary entries the author kept during this period.

The pivot of the book is Suzie, the author's wife and Alexander's mother, who dies of cancer when forty. We learn of life with Suzie before her illness, the ordeal of her illness and its effects on Alexander especially, and the period of time after Suzie's death. Although Suzie is central, the story is not about her primarily, but about the relationship between the author and his sons (although Hugo's mother was not Suzie) and the undisciplined free fall that takes place after Suzie's death. The settings are New Zealand - Suzie's homeland and birthplace of the boys - and England.

Abandoning every type of rational parenting, Carr allows his boys to do as they please, any time they please, and in whatever manner they please, for a period of several years after Suzie's death. It is their way of dealing with the emotional fallout. The result is a filthy home and children, unwholesome meals, gorging on violent media, and a lot of nakedness for all. The author relates disturbing accounts of his young sons watching gay porn, engaging in risky behavior, masturbating and other intimate details.

The Boys are Back is a movie tie-in publication; the movie is tentatively scheduled for fall 2009 release in the US.

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