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Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014

The Healing Power of Punk Rock

Len Vlahos brings 'The Scar Boys' to Boswell

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Life is defined by moments, and for Harbinger (Harry) Jones, the main character in Len Vlahos’ tender debut novel The Scar Boys, a few momentous occurrences—permeated with tragedy, terror and ultimately redemption—have shaped him into the fledgling adult he has become. 

Recounting his life-changing episodes through a college entrance essay, Harry eloquently shares the emotional tale of being tied to a tree by bullies at the age of 8, only for the tree to be struck by lightning and Harry to suffer tremendous physical scarring as a result. Shunned as an outcast, Harry’s life is torturous until, at age 14, he meets cool, charismatic Johnny and the two form a punk band. Soon they add a third member, Cheyenne, and the group develop an uncommon friendship as they come of age in the 1980s.

Threaded throughout is the theme of the healing power of music, and this set of misfits carry their scars both outside and within. Harry’s voice is pitch perfect, creating a story that is at once dramatic, compelling and unique. Readers will witness his stunning transformation from a frightened and insecure teenager into a strong-willed and gentle young man.  

Author Len Vlahos is the former COO of the American Booksellers Association. He will appear at Boswell Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.

 

Book Happening

 

Milwaukee Poet Laureate Reading Series: Jon Koethe & John Godfrey

7 p.m., Feb. 15

Woodland Pattern Book Center

720 E. Locust St.

As part of Woodland Pattern’s Milwaukee Poet Laureate Reading Series, the store will host lyrist John Koethe and guest poet John Godfrey. Koethe, the author of nine books of poetry (most recently the collection ROTC Kills), is a professor emeritus at UW-Milwaukee. Godfrey, a New York native and former classmate of Koethe, is the author of many poetry compilations.

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