The Boys

the boys john terpstraThe full title of the book is The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician's Daughter by John Terpstra. It's an unusual memoir. To be honest, when I started it the format annoyed me. I didn't like way the text was set on the page (although I loved the page weight). I didn't like the very, very short "chapters". The author refers to them as sections at the end of the book. But the story lured me in and I eventually stopped noticing.

It's really not a typical memoir. I don't know quite how to describe it. I've never read a memoir that is exactly like this.

It's very touching. Because I had heard much about this book (it was nominated for the Charles Taylor prize which is how I heard about it) I wasn't surprised by most of the events that happened and therefore didn't get teary but it could induce tears. You really do get drawn into the lives of these remarkable boys. They were not remarkable because of their disease or the hardships that they faced because of it. They were remarkable because of their sheer love of life and the joy they took from the most simple things. Most of us in healthy bodies will likely never appreciate the experience of every day life the way these boys did.

If you can find a copy I recommend it. It may be hard to get copy though, I warn you. It was published by a small press - Gaspereau Press (it's darned hard for me to not put an "x" on the end of Gaspereau and make it Gaspereaux because that's the way it should be spelled and my entire family will back me up on that as my mother grew up in a community called Gaspereaux). Ok, it's not exactly hard to get a copy but it will take awhile if you wish to order it (Amazon is showing a minimum of 4-6 weeks for delivery) and I don't imagine it's carried in a wide range of US libraries. I don't have access to WorldCat anymore so I can't tell you what libraries in the US (or Canada if there are actually any Canadians reading this) have it.