The Hidden Magic in Boy's Life
Start writing a post
Entertainment

The Hidden Magic in Boy's Life

The character who brought it together

126
The Hidden Magic in Boy's Life
Kat Swansey

Although set in the rural 1960’s town of Zephyr, the journey Robert McCammon takes readers on is anything but mundane. When I first began the book, I was not sure how to feel, or even how McCammon intended to make me feel. There were many subplots which revolved around various themes, such as the racial inequality Bruton citizens faced or the burdens of death revolving mainly around the murder at Saxon’s Lake. Yet, all of these stories were tied together into something bigger; this tale is not one of mystery, but of self-discovery. It's all traced back to Cory’s adventure and his coming-of-age.

However, Cory’s story is not what I fell in love with. While the imaginative aspects of his narration and his childlike spirit did make Boy’s Life an entertaining read, and Cory’s passion for writing and science fiction struck a chord with my own aspiring-novelist heart, Vernon is the character that really stood out to me. Although readers can infer that Vernon is an adult, his exact age remains ambiguous throughout the story; he can be anywhere between 20 to 40 years old. Despite this, Vernon does not act his age. Instead, he lives like a hedonistic child, finding pleasure in eating chocolate cake for dinner, playing with train sets, and patrolling Zephyr’s streets commando.

Yes, he is eccentric, and evidently mentally ill. Vernon’s life is ruled by his Peter Pan complex and dissociative symptoms, but there is so much beauty to his character that one cannot deny. When he sits Cory down at dinner and hauntingly discusses his life story, I see so much passion in Vernon matched with an equal love for the people around him. Some may think Vernon’s decision to change his book into a murder mystery for mass consumption was cowardly, yet I think it was self-sacrificing for reasons that were valid to him. With Vernon’s mother committing suicide, his business-oriented and harsh dad was all he had left. Vernon received a lifetime of backlash from his father, who criticized his dreams of being a novelist by addressing them as pointless and impractical fantasies. Vernon felt like a failure for so long that he gave up the one thing he worked so hard towards, his passion, his novel, in order to please his father and spent the rest of his life regretting it when it all was in vain.

Vernon’s flaws are so human and hit so close to home with me, due to our similar upbringings and coping mechanisms, that I could not help but get attached. The psychology of it all and the complexity of his story gives Boy’s Life a new depth and makes great commentary on the faulty consumerism associated with progress and gentrification. Vernon is a necessary addition to the novel and allows Cory to discover more about a world outside of Zephyr’s barriers, giving him writing material he will never forget.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

45
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/10/09/635800144722553570-908383045_993037_10201471592537019_550485816_n.jpg

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

2722
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

2782
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

41353
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

11045
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments