“Bullies love a few extra pounds of baby fat like mosquitoes love blood.”
James Newman. Man, this guy is good. Friends in the biz have told me for years how good. Thanks, Kristin! They’ve told me I need to read him. They told me I’d love it. They were right. I read Midnight Rain this summer and was blown away. I read People Are Strange a few months earlier and loved the versatility and impact of many of the stories within that collection.
Now, we come to this novella, ODD MAN OUT.
Featuring a collection of kids at a summer camp, ODD MAN OUT captures everything about summer camp I attended as a kid: Woods, lake, assholes, cool kids, clueless counselors, assholes…oh, and that horrible homesick feeling.
I mentioned assholes, right?
Yeah, the bullies in ODD MAN OUT go above and beyond. This one escalates when the two goons discover that all their “fag” talk isn’t 100% off the mark. When one kid is discovered to be homosexual, the big mouths are caught off guard and this leads to a dangerous mix of fear and confusion for all involved. Innocence is murdered and the world is not the same.
This one is a heavy hitter, folks. You will not be able to turn away. You won’t just go, “meh”, and start your next book. You’ll be shocked, enraged, saddened, and caught up in this wonderfully told, raw look at the inner demons some children hold within. This story is fiction, but bullshit like this happens every day. It is probably happening somewhere right now.
ODD MAN OUT is an outstanding novella and I can’t give it less than it deserves: 5 Stars, all day and all night. One of the very best pieces I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. Newman needs to be with a major publisher. He’s that good,and much better than many of the people being drooled over this year.
And do not miss these two:
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Odd Man Out, Synopsis
* Print Length: 150 pages
* Publisher: Bloodshot Books
WELCOME TO THE BLACK MOUNTAIN CAMP FOR BOYS!
Summer 1989. It is a time for splashing in the lake and exploring the wilderness, for nine teenagers to bond together and create friendships that could last the rest of their lives.
But among this group there is a young man with a secret–a secret that, in this time and place, is unthinkable to his peers
When the others discover the truth, it will change each of them forever. They will all have blood on their hands.
Odd Man Out is a heart-wrenching tale of bullies and bigotry, a story that explores what happens when good people don’t stand up for what’s right. It is a tale of how far we have come . . . and how far we still have left to go.
James Newman, Biography
James Newman lives in North Carolina with his wife and their two sons.
His published work includes the novels Midnight Rain, The Wicked, Animosity and Ugly As Sin, and the collection People Are Strange. Still Waters, a short Christian-themed horror film based