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Lost Boy | [Maia Szalavitz, Brent W. Jeffs]

Lost Boy

In the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), girls can become valuable property as plural wives, but boys are expendable, even a liability. In this powerful and heartbreaking account, former FLDS member Brent Jeffs reveals both the terror and the love he experienced growing up on his prophet's compound and the harsh exile existence that so many boys face once they have been expelled by the sect.
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Publisher's Summary

In the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), girls can become valuable property as plural wives, but boys are expendable, even a liability. In this powerful and heartbreaking account, former FLDS member Brent Jeffs reveals both the terror and the love he experienced growing up on his prophet's compound and the harsh exile existence that so many boys face once they have been expelled by the sect.

Brent Jeffs is the nephew of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of the FLDS. The son of a prominent family in the church, Brent could have grown up to have multiple wives of his own and significant power in the 10,000-strong community. But he knew that behind the group's pious public image - women in chaste dresses carrying babies on their hips - lay a much darker reality. So he walked away, and was the first to file a sexual-abuse lawsuit against his uncle. Now Brent shares his courageous story and that of many other young men who have become "lost boys" when they leave the FLDS, either by choice or by expulsion.

Brent experienced firsthand the absolute power that church leaders wield, the kind of power that corrupts and perverts those who will do anything to maintain it. Once young men no longer belong to the church, they are cast out into a world for which they are utterly unprepared. More often than not, they succumb to the temptations of alcohol and other drugs.

Tragically, Brent lost two of his brothers in this struggle, one to suicide, the other to overdose. In this book he shows that lost boys can triumph and that abuse and trauma can be overcome, and he hopes that readers will be inspired to help former FLDS members find their way in the world.

©2009 Maia Szalavitz; (P)2009 Random House

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (73 )
5 star
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4.4 (48 )
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4.4 (48 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jessica OSCODA, MI, United States 08-20-12
    Jessica OSCODA, MI, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2012

    I love listening to audio books while traveling, walking my puppy, working in the yard, or anywhere really. :)

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    "Very well done."

    I give this an overall five star because I believe the writer really put himself out there to bring home the truth to those of us who would struggle to believe that this even happened in this day and age. The performance was clear, and the story is true, and must continue to be told in order to help the rest of the Lost Boys.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Montgomery Village, MD, United States 06-20-14
    Laura Montgomery Village, MD, United States 06-20-14 Member Since 2010

    Why ever would I do that?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sad story of a little boy becoming a man"
    What would have made Lost Boy better?

    I found the book quite good through the first half. But then I became bored and had to stop before I started screaming at the "Lost Boy." Too much redundancy.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narrator's voice sounds as if he is or could be the Lost Boy.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 09-17-13
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 09-17-13 Member Since 2011

    Karen of Northern Michigan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting male view of polygamy"

    I'm not sure why, but I'm fascinated by polygamy.. Not interested in polygamy myself, mind you.. just fascinated by it... I've listened to "Escaped" by Carolyn Jessop, "Stolen Innocence" by Ellisa Walls and "Shattered Dreams" by Irene Spencer, all books about woman who suffered abuse due to the FLDS and eventually escaped.. I've found all of those book to be fascinating and mind boggling all at the same time.. I was glad to find a book written by one of the young men affected by the FLDS to hear a males point of view.. I didn't expect what I heard... I didn't realize that Warren Jeffs was raping little boys while his brothers watched...SICKO'S... The more I hear about this man the more I'm shocked at what he got away with.. Every book I read I find myself asking how in the world do people like Warren Jeffs convince people to follow his craziness? Hiltler reincarnated??

    Lost Boy is well written and narrated.. It held my interest and I couldn't wait to get back to it each time I had to turn it off...

    The accounts he gave of what led up to Jeffs arrest matched the information given in the books written by the woman I mentioned above...

    I remember when they had the raid on their community and took all the children away.. The media tried to make it look like it was done unfairly.. After reading these stories, I'm wondering why they ever let the children go back!!

    Fascinating account of this young mans life in the FLDS and his long journey to find a life he loves.....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angel 02-10-13
    angel 02-10-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Important Exposé"

    Stark. It may not be entertaining, per se, but there's a compelling power in the starkness of a previously hidden truth. This story of Brent W. Jeffs' is just that: Compelling. Talk about speaking truth to power! And the power Brent Jeffs challenges is that which British historian Lord Acton famously described as, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." This book reveals the absolute power of one man (Brent's uncle Warren) over the very personal lives of thousands and how that power corrupts not only his chosen "henchmen" who live privileged lives, but also corrupts the lives of his rank- and-file loyal followers, whose children are the most pathetic of their helpless victims.

    When "law enforcement" in the town are members of the same religion/cult as "the prophet" (ruler) of the compound in that town and his mind controlled followers, then escape becomes nearly impossible ... that is, unless you're a boy who would otherwise grow up to challenge the older men the older men for privileges ... men who are required by their religion (FLDS) to have a minimum of three wives in order to attain salvation via populating their own personal universes. It's as you may have seen on National Geographic ... the whole lion pride type of social structure, where the juvenile males are forced to abandon the pride and live on its outskirts, rather than face the consequences of challenging the "king" for survival via either food or reproduction ..... Thank Goodness that Brent had the strength of character to write (in restrained and nonlurid style) about his personal experiences, including seeking legal redress for the crimes that absolute power inevitably fostered.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 05-06-13
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 05-06-13
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    "Tragic boy's story in the FLDS"
    What did you love best about Lost Boy?

    I enjoyed some of the nuances of this book. Some of Brent's experiences are universal, while others are extraordinary. He is self-aware enough to acknowledge his faults and provide a look both into his past and his future.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He had a monotone voice in spots, which was really frustrating... he did not express emotion well, which could have improved the story.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is unique in that it is the story of a boy leaving the FLDS, whether by his own will or that of the prophet. It does jump around in spots and is a bit frustrating (siblings suddenly have spouses come out of nowhere), but this book is a good and tragic addition to the FLDS memoirs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan SANTA PAULA, CA, United States 07-12-12
    Susan SANTA PAULA, CA, United States 07-12-12 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "Wonderfully told"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Interesting and an insight into the lifestyle


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author told his account in a very genuine way


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could have


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebeka Wentzville, MO, United States 12-02-11
    Rebeka Wentzville, MO, United States 12-02-11 Member Since 2010

    Average stay at home housewife with 3 kiddos trying to learn about new somethings in the world. Only non-fiction! No time wasters for me!

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    "Lost, yet Found...a great book!"
    What did you love best about Lost Boy?

    Fantastic listen! The story completely covers this child's experiences in fascinating details. The personality of Brent is nicely portrayed. Could NOT stop listening!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawna ogden, UT, United States 01-16-12
    Shawna ogden, UT, United States 01-16-12

    Shawna

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    "FANTASTIC BOOK TO ADD TO MY POLYGAMY COLLECTION"

    I loved this book. I have read tons of books on the FLDS and this by far was one of my favorites.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Miss
    loughborough, United Kingdom
    8/10/09
    Overall
    "brilliant, buy it."

    i really enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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