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The Summer Boy

(Benjamin Drum Trilogy) Volume 1
Narrated by: Wayne Paige
Series: The Benjamin Drum Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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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 members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Trish
  • DECATUR, GEORGIA, United States
  • 08-07-16

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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A World Within a World

The Summer Boy (Benjamin Drum Trilogy) Volume 1
Author: Henry Mitchell
Narrator: Wayne Paige
Listening Time: 7 hours 33 minutes


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

I always like to preface any reviews I give with this information.
I am a 68 year old female who has been an avid reader since I was around 10 or 11 years old.
I read mainly for entertainment purposes although I do a lot of research in areas of personal interest.

Review: This is a review of the Audiobook version of The Summer Boy (Benjamin Drum Trilogy) Volume 1

Benjamin Drum is a young boy who is taken by his father to visit his aunt, uncle, and cousins for the summer in the Appalachian Mountains.
Benjamin and his father are not close and that is immediately evident. Benjamin's summer visit is an escape for him.
On his travels in the woods, he somehow enters into a different state of being, a place where time flows differently: and he gradually leaves the world he knows behind, and enters into a great adventure.

This review is going to be a little different than most of the reviews I write.

This is a book about a world within a world; light and darkness, a place where what we can see with our eyes, and what we can perceive with our hearts and spirits are very different.

This is a story about a place set apart from the usual world that we experience in life and about a different dimension of being; a place apart that is called "The Laurel." This is a place outside of time where there are shapeshifters; animals that speak, where telepathy happens, and where there are shortcuts of travel through what appears to be solid rock. The people and beings that inhabit this world are truly outside of time and don't experience the passage of time as we do.

This is a story about pure unadulterated love on the part of many people in the Laurel, as well as the pure love of Bard's aunt and her family.
This is a book of the most pure kind of magic. The kind you can feel with your heart.

Author Henry Mitchell has created a world I would love to visit, if not live in. His lyrical writing brought tears to my eyes at times throughout listening to this audiobook as I came to understand a few concepts that I had never seen as purely; until explained by the writer.
Mr Mitchell is not merely a writer, he is a storyteller.
I can truthfully say that for much of this story as I listened, I had a smile on my face, laughed out loud at times, and cried several times as well.
I have read thousands of books in my lifetime and this is one of the best books I have ever read.

Narrator Wayne Paige is one of the best voice actors I have ever listened to. Part of the magic of this story is in his amazing voice characterizations. He has a very distinct, mellow voice and he expresses emotions so very well with that voice.

Usually when I listen to a narrator that I have never heard before it takes a few chapters to get into how that person portrays the characters in an audiobook. With the first sentence of this audiobook, I was enchanted and enthralled by his ability to reveal all the hidden nuances of character within this truly fantastic book. As I listened to him, I could hear a very subtle hint of a Southern accent which I have always loved.

This is not a violent book in the conventional sense of the word. But as we experience in real life, there is sorrow and loss that some of the characters feel.

I believe this audiobook/book would appeal to people of all ages. Even children as young as 6 years of age could enjoy this truly inspiring and magical book.

Henry Mitchell is an author I will be reading again.
Wayne Paige is a voice actor I will be listening to again as well.
Don't miss this opportunity to be caught up in the magic!

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

Word Art

The author gives new life to everyday occurrences with such color and eloquence. I think he has the largest tool-belt of adjectives I've ever encountered, as I have not heard someone describe a lightning bug flicker so creatively in my life. The entire story is littered with such colorful and creative phrases for such simple things like that. It's just the way he manipulates words to suit the situation that would commonly not be used for it. I don't know the proper terminology for it, but it made this book an absolute treat to listen to.

The story itself peaked my interest as I am a product of the Appalachians Mountains in West Virginia. I followed along with Little Bear/bard/drum and saw myself as a child out in the woods with my day pack ready to go play "mountaineer". It wasn't long before I found myself in need of a compass while listening though. Several times I thought maybe I missed some important details, so I would rewind to make sure, nope still lost. It was a magical trip through the woods and I greatly enjoyed it, maybe I just did not dig deep enough to fully understand it all. In the ending I could have used more closure, but it is a trilogy, so time will tell how it plays out.

Even with being disoriented, the author's writing style paired with the narrator made it highly enjoyable to listen to. The narrator was spot on for this story as well. His voice was soft and smooth with just a hint of that Appalachian drawl to top it off perfectly.

I plan to listen to this again in the future to see if i get a different take on it. I recommend listening to this book for the beautiful wordplay alone.

I was given this free copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Reg
  • Texas
  • 05-03-18

Give it a Try

I couldn't stop listening. The narration is mesmerizing and the story doesn't let you go. There is so much beauty described it makes you want to go see the Appalachians for yourself! I found myself thinking thank goodness for Aunt Mary as Ben's father seems a nightmare. His journey takes him through the mountains, meeting several interesting and useful characters who help him leave his boyhood behind.

This was a compelling story for me. There were many parts of it that paralleled my own upbringing so it was interesting to see how Ben dealt with the different situations he was placed in.

I received this audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review.

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

The Summer Boy

This is a very well-written book about a young boy who is trying to find himself. The author and narrator do a great job of bringing the characters, situations, and story come to life.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.