Colin "Birdy" Franklin believes he has removed himself from society. Unable to come to terms with his father's horrifying secret, Birdy has decided to live "visibly invisible" on the streets of Boston. But his existence changes dramatically when he meets Vince, an illicit entrepreneur who employs the homeless to supply restaurants with substandard food. Cajoled into working for Vince, Birdy begins to understand the complexities of a society he never really left. But when these complexities turn deadly, Birdy must confront the events that shaped his past in order to reconcile - and survive in - his newly found place in the world.
In his stunning second novel, Andrew K. Stone explores the subjectivity of good and evil in accordance to our status in society. As in his breakout novel All Flowers Die, Stone demonstrates his flair for balancing an engaging plot, rich thematic structure and finely developed characters to tell a story that's both moving and memorable.
The Legend of the Squab
When I was fifteen years old my home was blown up, but that's not the reason I'm homeless. After the explosion - and the subsequent aftershocks - that shattered my world, I made a conscious decision to remove myself from society. I don't regret that decision. My ten years on the street have been an invaluable experience and I've learned many lessons, most particularly how wrong I was. But I never would have realized this had I not run away. Before I left society, questions and doubts enshrouded me like a second skin. However, the transience of street life makes it difficult for too much moss to gather, and I suppose it was only natural that eventually I would have stumbled upon larger revelations. These came at a cost of pain and loss but the alternative would have been much worse. Remaining stagnant, my second skin would have solidified and, as a result of this emotional alchemy, I would have been sealed off to the point of ...
Stone's second novel combines an intriguing plot with well developed three dimensional characters. The plot moves along at a brisk pace and the characters will stay with the reader well after the book is finished. Overall, strongly recommended to those who like to be challenged by gritty, realistic fiction without excess violence.
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