One of the Boys

A Novel

One of the Boys

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
A “gripping and heartfelt” (The New York Times Book Review) story about two young brothers contending with the love they have for their abusive father, One of the Boys is a stunning, compact debut by a major new talent.

The three of them—a twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, their father—have won the war: the father’s term for his bitter divorce and custody battle. They leave their Kansas home and drive through the night to Albuquerque, eager to begin again, united by the thrilling possibility of carving out a new life together. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, make friends. Meanwhile their father works from home, smoking cheap cigars to hide another smell. But soon the little missteps—the dead-eyed absentmindedness, the late night noises, the comings and goings of increasingly odd characters—become worrisome, and the boys find themselves watching their father change, grow erratic, then dangerous.

Set in the sublimely stark landscape of suburban New Mexico and a cramped apartment shut tight to the world, One of the Boys conveys with propulsive prose and extraordinary compassion a young boy’s struggle to hold onto the pieces of his shattered family. Tender, moving and beautiful, Daniel Magariel’s masterful debut is a story of resilience and survival: two foxhole-weary brothers banding together to protect each other from the father they once trusted, but no longer recognize. With the emotional core of A Little Life and the speed of We the Animals, One of the Boys is among the most remarkable debut novels you’ll ever read.
  • Scribner | 
  • 176 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501156168 | 
  • March 2017
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer

Read an Excerpt

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for One of the Boys includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

A twelve-year-old boy, his older brother, and their father leave their Kansas home after framing their mother as an abusive parent, only to find real abuse in their new home in Albuquerque. The boys go to school, join basketball teams, try to forge a new life, but their manipulative, increasingly drug-addicted father keeps them from attaining anything like normalcy. He becomes more unstable, more controlling, more violent. And soon the brothers’ only hope for survival is each other and their willingness to defend themselves against the father whose love they once thought made them a family.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. None of the members of this family—either of the brothers, their father, or their mother—are given names in the novel. Why do you think Magariel made this choice? What is its effect?

2. Convincing the narrator to commit more seriously to the ploy of taking photos that would incriminate his mother, the boy’s father tells him, “I thought you were one of the boys” (page 5). Why do you th see more

About the Author

Daniel Magariel
Photograph by Lucas Flores Piran

Daniel Magariel

Daniel Magariel is a fiction writer from Kansas City. He has a BA from Columbia University, as well as an MFA from Syracuse University, where he was a Cornelia Carhart Fellow. He has lived in Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Florida, Colorado, and Hawaii. He currently lives in New York with his wife. One of the Boys is his first novel.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US