• The Summer Boy

  • (Benjamin Drum Trilogy) Volume 1
  • By: Henry Mitchell
  • Narrated by: Wayne Paige
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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The Summer Boy

By: Henry Mitchell
Narrated by: Wayne Paige
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Publisher's Summary

Deposited by his dysfunctional city parents for the summer with his eccentric Aunt Mary in a remote Appalachian cove, Benjamin Drum runs away, farther than he ever intended, closer home than he ever imagined. Lost between the mountains, Ben wanders into a strange new world where he is befriended and pursued by beings human and non-human, malevolent and merciful. Before he finds his way back to Mary, he finds himself. 

The Summer Boy is a genre-defying work, written in a style that falls somewhere between Ron Rash and Neil Gaiman, bright and shining as a summer day, dark and deep as a coal mine.

Author royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Saluda Community Land Trust.

©2013 Henry Mitchell (P)2016 Henry Mitchell

Critic Reviews

“…a gorgeous work of magical realism that flawlessly weaves myth and metaphor into a tale ringing with the sounds of authentic Appalachian speech and Celtic heritage… a haunting tale expertly told.” (Sharon Claybough)

What listeners say about The Summer Boy

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 06-22-16

Beautiful listening

The writing of this book is quite good. I often get discouraged when symbolism carries the plot but this was well done. It is mythical in character and haunting in its tone. I have such strong clear pictures of what the characters look like and their mannerisms. It's not a book for everyone but it appealed to my English major side once I got over the flashbacks of trying to understand each symbolic act and word. I think I was traumatized by that in college. Once I just sat back and enjoyed it for what it is the book came alive. The narration was great. Might take a while to get used to the slow cadence but it was perfect for this book.
I think this is a book for teens through adults and beyond.
I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well crafted, but probably not for everyone

What did you like best about The Summer Boy? What did you like least?

The author makes characters and situations come alive. He seems to be a master painter with words as he creates this peaceful countryside escape. The story is full of symbolism and could probably be considered an allegory. Some of his associations I picked up on and enjoyed. Other times I didn't or couldn't stay focused enough to put all of the pieces together.

What does Wayne Paige bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought the narrator did a very good job. His relaxed and soft-spoken style seem a perfect fit for this particular story.

Was The Summer Boy worth the listening time?

This will be a wonderful story for some people. The word pictures are great. The symbolism will be great fun for some. Just now exactly my style.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my cup of Tea

Any additional comments?

While I finally finished this book, I could not get into this story. I started and stopped it several times. Most of the reason was the writing style, the other part is the narration. The narration is so calming I found I could only listen for short periods.

The story of Ben a young man who is basically invisible to his parents. His refuge is his Aunt Mary and her family where he gets to spend summers. This is Ben's coming of age journey to discover who he is and that he is a worthy person. It's very hard to determine what is real and what is a dream/fantasy. Not afraid to say there were times I had absolutely no idea what I had just listened to.

This story was just not my cup of tea.

While Wayne Paige has a very pleasant voice this particular narration is very soft, calming and soothing almost like he's just on the verge of whispering. There was not much difference in any of the character voices. He has a nice singing voice. I listened to some samples of his other narrations and they are in a more "normal" tone of voice. It actually sounds like he has very nice deep voice on other audio's. I would listen to him narrate other audiobook's in a normal tone.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Summer Boy

This book was SUCH a pleasure to listen to! Wayne Page has such a soft yet commanding voice.I LOVED it! A boy is sent to his Aunts house for the summer.He wanders the woods and has a delightful journey meeting people of every kind.I was given this book free for an honest review

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written book about young boy's journey

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The Summer Boy is a classic coming-of-age folk story about Ben who is "sent" by his parents to live with a relative over the summer. Along the way he meets a mysterious woman, encounters many dangerous opportunities in the Appalachian Forest, and arises a wise, strong man. The story is filled with the beauty of Appalachia.

What other book might you compare The Summer Boy to and why?

There isn't any other book I can compare to!

What does Wayne Paige bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I loved the narrator. His voice was rich and accented well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I finished this book with a warm feeling in my heart and a desire to see the appalachian mountains.

Any additional comments?

I received this book in exchange for a review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It Took Real Work To Get Through This Book

“The Summer Boy” is about a young man named Benjamin who goes to spend a summer with eccentric relatives in a remote cove and somehow wanders out of our world and into a land that is literally not part of our reality. As one who loves to read/ listen to fantasy stories, this sounded like a great premise for a story that I would want to read/listen to. Unfortunately, this book is not for everyone. I found this out the hard way very early on. The writing in “The Summer Boy” is well crafted and descriptively wonderful. You can see everything in your minds eye with high definition clarity. The problem for me is that the author chose to describe everything in high def, whether it forwarded the story or not. I truly believe a good editor could have made this book half as long and twice as good. As it is, I learned in detail about the flowers on the side of the road Benjamin passes even though it has nothing to do with the story. I learned how many matches Benjamin had left every time he made a camp fire as if that might be important later. It wasn’t. Now add a thousand other things like that into this book and to me, you just have an author showing off how well he can turn a phrase with no regard to his over all story or his readers.

Add to all that Wayne Paige’s narrative style. He speaks in a monotone just a hair above a whisper for the entire seven and a half hours. I don’t know if that’s Mr Paige’s normal narration voice or if that was a choice he made for narrating this book. All I can say is that it is so pleasant and calming that you want to fall asleep. Also, “The Summer Boy” has a ton of characters in it, yet Mr. Paige makes no effort to distinguish them with different voices, or cadences or speech patterns. To me everybody sounds exactly the same.

It took me several attempts to get through “The Summer Boy” and by the end I didn’t really care about Benjamin or anything that happened in the book. I am truly sorry to say that the only reason I finished this book at all was that it was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Audio Book Blast. If not for that commitment, I wouldn’t have bothered.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Fairytale

The Summer Boy captivated me. I fell in love with Ben, also known by other names throughout this story. When at home with his parents, he is basically invisible. Luckily his aunt understands what he needs. I enjoyed this story immensely. Every moment kept me thinking and daydreaming about what would happen next. This one will be a reread for me.
Wayne Paige has a beautiful, storytelling voice. His narration was superb.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The summer boy

Any additional comments?

kThis audiobook is about a young boy who doesn't fit into his suburban household. There is an element of fantasy here that leaves you constantly wondering if it is real or a dream. The characters are fairly complex and the story is a fresh take on this genre. I think that this would be a good book for teens or young adults.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to get into

I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I had such a hard time getting into it. I started it a couple times, listened to a couple hours of it, then gave up and listened to something else. I did eventually commit to finishing the book, restarting it again from the beginning. The author's writing style is "unique" and takes a minute to adjust to. I found that I really didn't care much for the narration, either. I found it too timid/soft. I like when narrators bring a lot of style and personality to the readings, but this was just very blase.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good read for a vacation

The Summer Boy is a book about the journey of a young man, through a mystical forest after he’s been dropped off for the summer by his daddy in the city. Benjamin Drum loves his eccentric aunt and her whole family, so he looks forward Yo spending his summers with them. Unbeknownst to Ben, he stumbles into a journey of self-finding, with beings, animals & spirits following and tracking him. He’s walking in 2 worlds and that could be bad for the natural power of things.

Ben doesn’t just take a walk on the woods. He speaks to bears and birds. He seems to walk through the woods in a fog, just letting it take him where it wills.

This books was sort of slow and took me awhile to get into it. Lots of neat parts but also lots on meandering. When I was done, I thought it was a decent book, knowing the finish.

The narration was pretty good. I couldn’t tell if it was a real accent or a catered one, so I guess that can be good or bad. I did have to listen at 1.5 speed to get it to my regular listening speed.

I was given a copy if this audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.