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Jeff B Fuell

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Member Since: Mar, 2009

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Young Adult/Teen

Publisher: ISBN-10:  074431853X Type: 


Copyright:  June 29, 2011 ISBN-13:  9780744318531

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In the summer of 1983, Danny Brent and his two best friends share an adventure that bonds them together well into adulthood. Now, for the first time in almost thirty years, Danny is telling his story about his brief encounter with the Goatman - a legendary creature that exists on the outskirts of town, how he saved his life, and what happens afterwards.

This book is also available in paperback.

In the summer of 1983, Danny Brent and his two best friends share an adventure that bonds them together well into adulthood. Now, for the first time in almost thirty years, Danny is telling his story about his brief encounter with the Goatman, how he saved his life, and what happens afterwards.

The book is written in first person and is partially autobiographical. While the events that take place are entirely fiction, the places and some of the people described in it are based on reality.  It is very much influenced by Stephen King's brilliant novella, "The Body," which became the great movie "Stand By Me."

It was the summer of 1983 and I thought I knew everything. I suppose that all kids do when they are young only to find out later in life when they look back, as they more often tend to do as they grow older, that they really knew nothing. Or, at least, next to nothing. I was thirteen years-old and like most kids at that age I was under the incorrect assumption that I had quite a bit of worldly experience. I had even travelled to a couple of tropical islands with my parents on vacations, something that no other kids in my neighborhood had done. Although, I do remember that I was really annoyed that one of them did not have a television in the room. Can you imagine such a thing? How was I expected to properly function without television? That is akin to a fish being deprived of water. It was only after our little adventure that the three of us had that summer that I truly realized how naÔve I really was, because the summer of 1983 was also the time of the Goatman.
I suppose there comes a time in life when, if you think back, you can pinpoint that exact time in life when you felt that you became an adult. For some people, most people I suppose, it is getting laid for the first time. That is usually the common answer for boys. Or, perhaps, it is graduating high school or college, maybe even getting your first full-time job. For others it is getting married or, beyond that, finding out the news that you were soon going to be a parent. Those are normal situations that come for the most part fairly later in life when a person is better equipped to handle it, more or less. Although, some things people are never able to handle no matter how old they are. No, for me, it was when we were all thirteen years-old and I encountered the Goatman.
However, back then, I knew none of this. It was summer and like any teen-age boy who was getting a break from the terrorist organization that is known as school, I was as happy as a boy could be. I was living in Corpus Christi, Texas and I have to say it was pretty nice. Most kids usually say that they canít stand where they live and as soon as they are old enough they are going to move away to a better place, preferably without parents in tow. Some of the places usually mentioned are California or New York, maybe even Miami. There are some kids who are even more creative and say that they are going to move to somewhere in Europe, Paris being a very common answer. No, Corpus Christi was fine with me, at least for now. Nobody ever knows what life has in store for them but I was perfectly happy where I was in my life at that time.
My grades were actually pretty good that year and I did not have to attend summer school, which is a fate worse than death. It just killed me knowing that while all of my friends were out having a good time I was sitting in class doing the same old thing that in a world with any justice in it whatsoever should have been against the law during the summer. Thatís what I think, at least. Thatís what most kids think. Ask them. It makes me wonder though, if things had turned out differently and I had gone to summer school, I might never have gotten the worst shock of my young life and grown up a lot faster than I had to. On the other hand, it was also a good thing because all of the missing kids were safely returned home. I guess I will never know. Anyway, this has been on my mind lately and I suppose I should tell you all about it and see what you think.

Professional Reviews

The adolescent voice of the narrator in THE GOATMAN rings true, and the three lead characters are nicely etched. The climactic scene is gripping, and this young adult novel comes to a satisfying conclusion. Protagonist and narrator Dan (who doesn't like being called by the babyish moniker "Danny") has an interesting best friend/sidekick in the person of "the Bluesman," who will share Dan's adventure, the crux of the book, along with classmate Amelia.

Dan's interest in Amelia develops along the course of their shared adventure. Author Fuell accurately depicts the awkwardness of a thirteen-year-old who is just beginning to see the possibilities in girls.

The book meanders without lagging, giving us a chance to get to know Dan, the Bluesman, Amelia, and their respective families, as well as a few minor characters, before the real adventure begins. A satisfying read for ages 10 through 16.

~ Cynthia MacGregor, Author

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