Every Boy Should Have a Man
"Allen's concise book's power lies within its understated irony, never more heavy-handed than a preacher's admonition that 'a world without mans is a world without us all.' The plain narrative and relationship between boy and female man, rounded out with humor and occasional (sometimes literal) bite, promises to be a sleeper favorite among speculative audiences." - 'Publishers Weekly' Allen... throws caution to the wind with his bizarre but exquisitely composed fable that uses transhumanism as the prism to reflect on the nature of humanity... It's also intellectually curious and rather cutting in many of its conceptual and cultural assessments. It's a world where man is not only pet, but also meat, where religion, wars and empires are just as backward as they are in our own world, and where worlds collide with a temperamental angst that is as uncomfortableas it is alluring. Much like Pierre Boulle's 1963 novel 'Planet of the Apes', this novel is a sardonic parable on the nature and destiny of the species. A nimble fable whose bold narrative experiment is elevated by its near-biblical language and affectionate embrace of our inherent flaws." - 'Kirkus Reviews'"From this point forward, readers consulting any reference work addressing the concept of 'tour de force' will find there a citation of Preston L. Allen's 'Every Boy Should Have a Man'. It is one thing to devise a fable dealing so adroitly with such concepts as racism, war, religion, and the very nature of civilization itself, but Preston's true triumph is the infusion of each page and every astonishing episode with palpable emotional resonance." - Les Standiford, author of 'Desperate Sons'" 'Every Boy Should Have a Man' is a wild animal, a melancholy human, a hybrid with fangs and tears, a book that cannot be classified and should never be classified - it is a book that I read until late into the night, and then talked about with my daughters, my dog, my friends, and myself. I won't ever look at the daughters, or the dog, or the world, in quite the same way." - Susan Straight, author of 'Between Heaven and Here'"In this new novel, Preston L. Allen writes with an elegance and honesty that make his observations on 'humanity' - our common flaws, our insistent dishonesty, our daily failings - a psalm, a love song to imperfection, and yet holds onto a firm and astute insight. Beautiful, elegiac, and optimistic." - Chris Abani, author of 'Graceland'A riveting, poignant satire of societal ills with an added dose of fantasy, 'Every Boy Should Have a Man' takes place in a post-human world where creatures called oafs keep humanlike "mans" as beloved pets. One day, a poor boy oaf brings home a man whom he hides under his bed in the hopes his parents won't find out.With echoes of Margaret Atwood and 'Jack and the Beanstalk', Jonathan Swift's 'Gulliver's Travels'and Octavia Butler's 'Kindred', this is a picaresque journey into uncharted territory in earth, sky, and firmament.Oafs and mans each gain insight and understanding into one another's worlds, and the worlds that touch theirs-ultimately showing that oafs and mans alike share a common "humanity." Filled with surprising twists and turns, the novel is in part a morality tale that takes on many of today's issues, including poverty, the environment, sexism, racism, war, and religion, all in lighthearted King James prose.Preston L. Allenis a recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and a winner of the Sonja H. Stone Prize in Fiction. He teaches writing in south Florida.