American Boy by Larry Watson
A Novel

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We were exposed to these phenomena in order that we might learn something, but of course the lessons we learn are not always what was intended.

So begins Matthew Garth’s story of the fall of 1962, when the shooting of a young woman on Thanksgiving Day sets off a chain of unsettling events in small-town Willow Falls, Minnesota. Matthew first sees Louisa Lindahl in Dr. Dunbar’s home office, and at the time her bullet wound makes nearly as strong an impression as her unclothed body. Fueled over the following weeks by his feverish desire for this mysterious woman and a deep longing for the comfort and affluence that appears to surround the Dunbars, Matthew finds himself drawn into a vortex of greed, manipulation, and ultimately betrayal.

Immersive, heart-breaking, and richly evocative of a time and place, this long-awaited new novel marks the return of a great American storyteller.

About Larry Watson

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Larry Watson is the author of seven widely-acclaimed novels, including the best-selling Montana 1948, which was awarded the Milkweed National Fiction Prize, a Best Book citation by the American Library Association, short-listed for IMPAC Dublin International Award, and published in ten foreign editions. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his family.
Published October 4, 2011 by Milkweed Editions. 266 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Boy

Kirkus Reviews

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Watson's (Montana 1948, 1993, etc.) sixth novel resonates with language as clear and images as crisp as the spare, flat prairie of its Minnesota setting.

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of American Boy: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Watson’s new novel about a young man’s coming-of-age in rural Minnesota during the early ’60s never veers off course. Working-class narrator Matthew Garth has always been treated well by best friend J

Aug 29 2011 | Read Full Review of American Boy: A Novel

Star Tribune

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Engaging, with a strong sense of the Minnesota prairie, "American Boy" is a worthy book but not as rich as Watson's earlier works.

Oct 08 2011 | Read Full Review of American Boy: A Novel

Denver Post

we know that Matthew's desires (Louisa, fortune, a better life in another town) are unlikely to come to fruition in the way he anticipates, but we don't want him to learn his lesson too quickly because we know it's going to hurt.

Sep 25 2011 | Read Full Review of American Boy: A Novel

Posted: 12/02/2011 10:22:24 AM MST .

Dec 02 2011 | Read Full Review of American Boy: A Novel

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