Brent Runyon's account of his attempted suicide has garnered critical accolades for its glimpse into adolescent depression and rare insight into the human condition. Fearing expulsion and parental disapproval after lighting a shirt on fire at his school, Brent goes home, soaks his bathrobe with gasoline, steps into his shower, and strikes a match. Suffering horrific burns, Brent faces a long, painful recovery-both mentally and physically. "Runyon has, perhaps, written the defining book of a new genre, one that gazes ... unflinchingly at boys on the emotional edge."-Booklist, starred review
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by Joseph Delaney
by Tom Knox
by Dick Lehr, Gerard O'Neill
by Arthur Phillips
"Fourteen-year-old Brent Runyon, mad at the world and soon to be busted for an act of arson at school, attempts to deal with his troubles by using gasoline to set himself on fire. Months of hospitals, pain, and therapists result as his body and mind deal with the aftermath of his impulsive suicide attempt. Told in the first person, this true story may be difficult to handle for some listeners. Narrator Christopher Evan Welch superbly captures the depressed, sometimes petulant, regretful, and hormonal tones of this adolescent, an approach that will resonate with younger listeners but may wear thin for adults. After hearing this performance, teens may reconsider impulsive decisions; no listener will soon forget Runyon's harrowing experience. M.H.N. 2009 Audies Finalist (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"
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