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The Book of Ralph: A Novel
The Book of Ralph: A Novel by John McNally 0743255550 9780743255554
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The Book of Ralph: A Novel by John McNally

The Ralph you know is better than the Ralph you dont. Remember Ralph? He was the kid who failed grade school not once but twice, the kid who was constantly, unwaveringly up to no good. He was the outsider you avoided at all costs. But who precisely was Ralph? And whatever happened to him? The Book of Ralph, a resonant tale of boys growing up together, reintroduces you to the Ralph you once knew. Suffused with wit and charm, this dazzling story draws readers inexorably into the lives and antics of Hank -- a good boy, a B+ student -- and his troublemaking classmate Ralph, who takes Hank to places he has never dreamed of -- places on the edge, sometimes, of genuine danger. It is 1978 in Chicago. Hank wants eighth grade to be his big year to shine. But when Ralph starts acting as if he and Hank are best friends, things dont go quite according to plan -- in fact, Hanks special year spirals into an odyssey that is as frightening as it is hilarious, as poignant as it is bizarre. Reluctant cohort though he may be, Hank none-theless joins forces with Ralph and his older cousins, Norm and Kenny, employees of the Tootsie Roll factory; together, they wreak havoc over Chicagos southwest side. For good or ill, Hanks right there by his side when, for instance, Ralph becomes a thug-for-hire and starts stalking a fellow eighth-grader with plans to bite off his ear (rate: $15.00). For his part, Ralph proves his loyalty in unexpected ways, including a show of solidarity with Hanks grandmother when shes hauled in for a series of shoe-store robberies. Through it all, in a year that sees the rise of Styx, Cheap Trick, and Kiss, Hank doesnt win the popularity or acclaim hed hoped eighth grade would bring. But as the adult world seems increasingly opportunistic and indifferent, his alliance with Ralph offers him an escape, and even some wisdom. By the end of the school year, though, unanticipated events have altered the nature of their friendship, possibly forever. John McNally, an award-winning author and an exciting new voice in fiction, presents a delightful, warm-hearted coming-of-age tale replete with the terrors and wonders of early adolescence. Hank and Ralph are an irresistible and entirely surprising blend of wise beyond their years and awestruck at the world made available to them as high school approaches. Beautiful in its plainspoken insight into the experience of teenage boys and all human beings, this story exquisitely renders those flashes of transcendence that can occur in everyday life. As they seek to survive eighth grade, a bad economy, and threadbare family lives, Hank and Ralph give us a window into the ties that bind us together, hold us back, and sometimes redeem us.

Author: John McNally

Language: English

Edition: First Edition

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 304

Publisher: Free Press

Publication Date: 2004-02-24

Our Price: $4.29

ISBN: 0743255550

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John McNally (Edition: First Edition) Hardcover

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