Friday, November 4, 2016

ODD MAN OUT by James Newman

James Newman's new novella shares similar themes to his acclaimed novel Animosity, themes like mob mentality, the nature of hate, and the way that hate is contagious. Eight teenage boys are spending a summer at the brand new Black Mountain Camp for Boys, kayaking, swimming, and playing baseball. But when a secret of one of the boys is revealed and the campers are left without much responsible supervision, normal teasing and shit-talking turns into something much more horrifying.

I didn't fully buy into the descent to hardcore violence that happened in Animosity, but I didn't have that problem here, partially because it involved unsupervised high school boys, with whom anything is possible. Newman doesn't pussy-foot around the subject of bigotry and the ugliness in the way kids treat each other and it was sometimes difficult to read. With me, it felt like Newman was preaching to the choir, but there are many people out there that need to read this book and understand the depths to where intolerance can take you. I'll even go as far to say that this probably should be assigned reading in some high school classes. A strong look at the dark side of human nature.



  1. Excellent review. This novella was a punch in the gut.

  2. I agree with your review. This book is a reality smack in the face. I found myself cringing at my young self as I read it.


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