Hurt People

Hurt People

[a Novel]

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
4
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1988. Northeastern Kansas is shaken by the recent escape of a convict. But for two young brothers in Leavenworth, the only thing that matters is the pool in their apartment complex. They are forbidden to swim alone, but with no one home to supervise the boys decide to break the rules. At the pool they meet Chris, a stranger who promises an escape from their broken-home blues. As the older brother and Chris grow closer, the wary younger brother desperately tries to keep his best friend from slipping away.
"A novel about two brothers growing up in the prison town of Leavenworth, Kansas"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374535889
0374535884
Branch Call Number: SMITH C
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 19 cm

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Miranda_Ericsson Nov 20, 2017

Impossible to put down. Authentic, painful, and so well written.

Smith is from Lawrence! In this story set in 1988 Leavenworth Kansas, two boys meet a mysterious stranger.


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Miranda_Ericsson Nov 20, 2017

Impossible to put down. Authentic, painful, and so well written.

MickC_KCMO Jul 27, 2017

The characters, the setting, the story. Everything about this book is created with such care and you see it on display in each sentence. Cote Smith is a real talent and I cannot wait for his next book.

e
eappelbaum
Oct 25, 2016

SPOILER ALERT

I liked the book. It is gripping and heartfelt. Interesting setting in Leavenworth.

The brothers do not have bicycles, friends, or much of anything. So many things are broken in their home: television, air conditioner, fan, and, most of all, the family itself. Also, the town is broken—closed factory, and the council votes down a proposal for a library.

Both parents are selfish and immature. Dad drinks, sleeps around, and supplies inappropriate videos for his children. He takes them to a shooting range and a crime scene, hoping to win their admiration. Mom sells their toys, fails to provide food, and expects the children to provide her with a birthday party. Does she ever give them birthday parties?

P. 37, mother complains to father about older son: she orders him to draw a tree and instead he draws a bush. She is trying to throw her weight around.

P. 91. Narrator reminisces about a family boating trip (Smithville Lake?). This event should be a happy memory, but it is not. In the boat, Dad drinks beer and argues with Mom, while boys swim in the water. Narrator fantasizes about being left to drown.

P. 121. Older son takes narrator's favorite stuffed animal and pretends to kill it. Do older son and Chris have similar life stories?

P. 198, dad has 5 memos about MW. The abbreviation is "my wife." He is obsessed with her. In this family, everybody loves everybody, but not always in a healthy way.

P. 318. Parents agree older son needs therapy. There is hope for this family.

LPL_PolliK Mar 03, 2016

Cote Smith's debut is a photograph of your childhood, fraying edged, and tinged with a menace you hopefully don't remember. Set in nearby Leavenworth, where prisons shadow all they survey, Hurt People will keep you turning pages, and have you thinking about two young brothers long after you put it down.

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