V for Victor
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Alabama, 1942. The war is everywhere, but Victor -- a 16-year-old boy sent by his father to care for his dying grandmother on a lonely island in Mobile Bay -- can only dream of it. Then he wakes one amazing night to a thunderous roar from the Bay... and sees the ominous shadow of an enemy submarine surfacing at night. "Fantastic, extravagant... thoroughly charming." --Boston Globe
Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Alabama and grew up in the Midwest and the South. After working as a reporter and editor for The Birmingham News, Southern Living magazine, and The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Childress published the first of his seven novels: A World Made of Fire, V For Victor, Tender, Crazy in Alabama, Gone for Good, One Mississippi, and Georgia Bottoms. He also wrote the award-winning screenplay for the Columbia Pictures production of 'Crazy in Alabama,' and has written three books for children. His articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday Review, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Travel and Leisure, and other national and international publications. He lives in Key West, Florida.
"If you've forgotten the thrills and chills of child's play, the incendiary imagination of adolescence, Mark Childress's second novel -- a speeding bullet of a book -- will ignite your memory. In this adventure story the hero, Victor, is sublimely lost, a celebrated ragamuffin like Huck Finn or one of Peter Pan's lost tribe."
-- Marianne Gingher, New York Times Book Review
"A crackling good adventure is tough to pull off, but Mark Childress has done just this and he's done it brilliantly. From his lyrical opening passages, which evoke the softness of adolescent innocence, right up through his explosive finale, he never lets us come up for air. And we never want to. Think of the Hardy Boys if you will, but also think of Harper Lee, and early Capote. This is a yarn spun with poetry. This is storytelling at its best."
-- Peter Buckley, Vogue
"The whole 'great watery plain of Mobile Bay' is a world the author and his gangly hero know with a strong and lovely intimacy."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Childress makes us believe this tale of double-crosses, murders, spying and general mayhem. He does this through a magical evocation of place, a lyric touch and a keen ear for speech, both interior and exterior.... A compelling variation on the happy myth of war as a passage to manhood."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"With a marvelous ear for language and devilishly rich imagination, Mark Childress has crafted an engaging and readable novel."
-- Jay Parini, The Boston Globe
"Mr. Childress knows the business of words. His descriptions evoke a sense of time and place that ring true... A rare talent."
-- Atlanta Journal & Constitution
"A boy's fantasy of adventure, heroism, and romance... the cinematic plot is perfect for a thriller movie."
-- Publisher's Weekly
"Childress's novel zings with charm and thrills."
"Childress deftly evokes the marshy landscape, the thrill of radio listening, the magic of a summer cotillion, etching it against a backdrop of purpose and urgency."
-- Joseph Olshan, Chicago Tribune