Craft of THE CHARLATAN’S BOY
First a quick note about Jonathan Rogers writing craft in THE CHARLATAN’S BOY: It is not only self-evident to any reader with half an eyeball, but it is so excellent that I was immersed in the story from the first page and never looked back.
The novel has a uniquely American accent, and though strong, it never distracts. Jonathan found just the right balance between “too heavy” and “too light”.
Lessons from THE CHARLATAN’S BOY
I hesitate to call them lessons because this is a novel, not a textbook! But through the act of living a life full of lies, Grady has so much insight into truth that it is amazing.
Here are the things I was able to discern from THE CHARLATAN’S BOY:
Truth and Community go hand in hand
From what I had seen of village life, there was a lot to like. But a village is a place for honest folks. Villagers look a feller square in the eye … or so it seemed to me … with no dodge or shift.
They tell one another the truth because they’re going to have to answer for their selves the next day and the day after that.
Truth and Success go hand in hand
A man who makes a habit of telling the truth assumes that other folks is in the same habit. That’s what makes a sap when you get right down to it … but a sap gives me hope.
It’s a pleasure and relief to know that the world makes room for folks [who tell the truth and they] get along just fine … a whole lot better than Floyd and me.
In quiet hours I try to picture it … a whole world where telling the truth don’t necessarily lead to a man’s ruination.
Truth and Belonging go hand in hand
In that world where community exists, and where a man of truth can live successfully, there will also be belonging.
I’m talking about neighbors, friends, old ladies that pinch your cheeks, little fellers that look up to you and try to be like you.
I always wondered what it would be like to have people you pass onthe street know your name. Seems like it would make a feller feel mighty important, like he matters to somebody. [Just imagine conversations that mean] “We’re friendly, ain’t we, and don’t we have a lot in common?”
I won’t give away the end of the book, but it is very satisfying in a way that makes real the above observations.
And you know what the best thing about THE CHARLATAN’S BOY was? The page after the end of the book:
Grady’s story will continue in the fall of 2011.
Yippee-Mississippi! That’s all I can say! I look forward to more advendtures in Corenwald with Grady and the entire cast. I expect Corenwald will be turned upside down, but I won’t say more…
Whether you be he-feechie, she-feechie, wanna-be-feechie, or what’s-a-feechie, this book is for you! As Andrew Peterson so aptly pointed out, if you like a cross between Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis, then Jonathan Rogers is for you!
And here is one more installment from the Feechie-Film-Festival, starring none-other than Dr. Jonathan Rogers hisself:
And when you’re done watching that, check out all the laughingstockings at The Feechie-Film Festival!