The Peculiar Boars of Malloy

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-30
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois Univ Pr
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This Sherwood Anderson-award winning farcical novel follows two teenage boys living on a farm in rural Indiana. Their father-a diminutive man and the laughingstock of their small town-purchases two boars in an attempt to impress his neighbors and demonstrate, by proxy, his masculinity. The boars, however, turn out to be resolutely gay and deeply committed to each other, setting off a ridiculous chain of events that brings the spotlight and accompanying media circus to Malloy. In the midst of all of the madness is the boys' ongoing, and at once heartbreaking and hilarious, quest to find their wayward mother through a series of touching and humorous flashbacks. Disappointed in their pitiful father, the boys cling to an unrealistic fantasy of their mother, who is in actuality a promiscuous drifter. Crandell's depiction of the gay boars provides much of the book's humor and, unexpectedly, its moral compass as he weaves significant and subtly articulated themes of animal rights and gay rights. The Peculiar Boars of Malloy captures the best traditions of American satire, while turning the conventions of the coming-of-age novel on its head. Crandell's heart and humor will be appreciated by lovers of satire and animals and those readers possessed of a uniquely Midwestern sense of the ridiculous.



Bill and Leroy stood by the sire run our dad had cobbled together using warped wood from one of our many crumbling sheds. Bill and Leroy smoked cigarette after cigarette, cracking vile jokes and laughing like donkeys. The ground at their feet was useless marl, ugly soil that didn’t give way to something more fertile until the precipice frontage dropped off into a river valley of dark black loam some three quarters of a mile away. But that lush plat of earth wasn’t ours, couldn’t be—we were the Bancrofts, unlikely to own anything of much value.

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