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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, May 2015 - You would never think that a book about the death of a 13-year-old boy would be anything other than tragic, yet Neil Smith manages to create a whimsical and moving story. In his debut novel, Boo, we are introduced to Oliver 'Boo' Dalrymple, a middle school outcast, who 'wakes up' in Town – a heaven solely populated by those who have passed away at 13. Through his journal, Boo chronicles his experiences in Town, with its bizarre idiosyncrasies, and gradually uncovers the events which ultimately lead to his death. From the start I fell in love with Boo – a terribly smart, socially inept boy whose reflections reveal a surprisingly complex character. Boo is an intriguing story which will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished. –Laura, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Boo is the highly anticipated debut novel from one of the most incomparable voices in Canadian literature: Bang Crunch author Neil Smith.

Oliver Dalrymple, nicknamed Boo because of his pale complexion and staticky hair, is an outcast at his Illinois middle school - more interested in biology and chemistry than the friendship of other kids. But after a tragic accident, Boo wakes up to find himself in a very strange sort of heaven: a town populated by only 13-year-old Americans.

While he desperately wants to apply the scientific method to find out how this heaven works (broken glass grows back; flashlights glow without batteries; garbage chutes plummet to nowhere), he's confronted by the greatest mystery of all - his peers. With the help of his classmate, Johnny, who was killed at the same time, Boo begins to figure out what exactly happened to them (and who they really were back in America) through this story about growing up, staying young, and the never-ending heartbreak of being 13.

©2015 Neil Smith (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Original & Quirky

Any additional comments?

You would never think that a book about the death of a 13-year-old boy would be anything other than tragic, yet Neil Smith manages to create a whimsical and moving story. In his debut novel, "Boo", we are introduced to Oliver 'Boo' Dalrymple, a middle school outcast, who 'wakes up' in Town – a heaven solely populated by those who have passed away at 13. Through his journal, Boo chronicles his experiences in Town with its bizarre idiosyncrasies, and gradually uncovers the events which ultimately lead to his death. From the start I fell in love with Boo – a terribly smart, socially inept boy whose reflections reveal a surprisingly complex character. "Boo" is an intriguing story which will leave you thinking about it long after you’ve finished.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a neat story!!

The narrator was freaking awesome at portraying "BOO". This is definitely a book I talk to others about encouraging them to read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down

This contains no spoilers. Such an unusual and imaginative story. I don't want to take away from the authors talent, but I'm guessing it came to him as a gift from above. One specifically for him to deliver to us all. I say a big "Thank You", however it got here. So sensitive and beautiful a story, with true tension. Kept me thinking about it at work. Could not wait for the chance to get back to it. A true study of humanity, it's beauty and horror. Supernatural with no vampires or zombies(even though I like that too). A refreshing departure.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and different

This story about the afterlife of 13 year olds shows a different heaven and the lessons and friendships the deceased experience there. It is thought provoking and at times irritating because of its similarity to earth.
I liked the story and its surprises. The performance was great!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • TeachVC
  • Vancouver, WA, United States
  • 05-30-15

Boo is a must read for young teens.

A thoughtful story written in a way that young teens can understand mature concepts within the context of their age. It integrates the consequences of bullying and violence but plays out the fact that life will continue and change though it seems overwhelming at 13.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Sweet and Sad Boo Stole My Heart

I loved the story it was sad and sweet and poignant. I loved the characters. It was not predictable. I liked the narrator he kept me engaged and enthralled wanting to know what was going to happen next. Poor sweet Boo. I was surprised at the sudden twist the story took. It was a sweet story. I would like to hear another story by this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

The story of a displaced socially inept teen really moved me. Finding himself in afterlife. Impressive.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story!! I had no idea!

Great story, read beautifully i just could have done without the spelling out of curse words.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • A. ricci
  • San Francisco, CA United States
  • 05-27-15

Pretty awful

What would have made Boo better?

Boo was just SO HARD TO LISTEN TO. Maybe it would read better, but skip the audio on this. The spelling out of the curse words was so irritating and the constant reciting of the periodic tables made me insane. Not a single character was likable.

What was most disappointing about Neil Smith’s story?

The IDEA is so interesting....but the execution was dreadful.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His formal tone made me cringe. "mother and father"---- the way he spoke to his parents, the spelling of the curse words. ugh.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Boo?

The "bricking" scene was really dark. The people in this "Heaven" were all really nasty and mean. I seriously must have missed something here.

Any additional comments?

Boo Hoo.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bobbie
  • LEEDEY, OK, United States
  • 10-24-17

A light-hearted way to address a solemn topic

I love a book that seems like it's about one thing and turns out to be about something else entirely. The less predictable the book the better in my opinion. Boo certainly doesn't disappoint in that arena.

The main character, Boo, is a 13 year-old boy who dies and goes to Heaven. Well, he actually goes to 13 year-old American Heaven. In life, Boo was an outcast. In Heaven, he fails at being an outcast. Through a series of letters to his parents, we learn about Boo's life, interests, opinions, and what actually happened on the day he died.

So many serious topics are addressed in this book, but the author somehow managed to present them in a fun way. The characters are lovable and imperfect. The theology is a complete mess, but this is a fantasy book after all. This is great listen for anyone, and I think it would be especially valuable for a teenager though there are lessons for all of us in this book.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY