Rights offering detail :
For the Love of Boon
Mar. 21, 2021
Elizabeth Humphreys
Fiction: Debut
For the Love of Boon has several plots from which to choose. A manipulator switches from the old patsy to a new. Amid economic inequality in the international playground of Santa Fe, rich swinging tourists befriend the homeless Boon and act as his foil. A long-distant flame fades and flares out. A delusional middle-aged man dreams of a career in films in New Mexico. The ostensible plot follows a homeless man trying to convince others to replace his broken car windows.

His life seems charming and distressing: free time for concerts, festivals, coffee shops, movie scenes and wandering around town – fights at home, fights in shelters, fights on the street, no car windows, no phone service, no money, no medical care. He lives out of a cardboard chest of drawers waiting for other people to pay for his life. He is, of course, an alcoholic.

Boon lives between the social and natural world, a rogue who treats the law with the same respect a wild animal gives a fence, a suggestion as to where the rules begin to change. Scenes of the desert are metaphors for Boon. The cute rabbits eating grass while actually fighting for territory and survival are like Boon, charming but ruthless. The desert is dry and waiting for the monsoons, and when they arrive, the desert is grateful but the rain also obliterates the landscape, like Boon’s drinking. The sharpness of a Georgia O’Keeffe sky echoes Boon’s life, accenting the vivid contrasts and colors while avoiding drama of the storms that must follow. A lone coyote walking through town looking for a meal is Boon walking through society, not part of society, but an opportunist.

The metaphors reflect both ways. These traits are Boon’s reflection, but Boon is their reflection. He has the habits of nature, a peripatetic traveler of Santa Fe, the restlessness that is always on the move, of “low-stakes errands and misadventures” per a Kirkus review – looking for meals, amusements and expropriations.

“The author masterfully shows not only the way that a person like Boon lives in all its discomfiting details, but also illuminates the thought processes, justifications, self-deceptions, and behavioral patterns that make such a lifestyle necessary and tolerable.” – Kirkus Review

The title, For the Love of Boon, is permission to the millions of members of Al-Anon to love their qualifiers, letting them know that they can love the Boons in their lives even though they are constantly causing them heartache by shiftless, crafty, unscrupulous selfishness. This novel is rich, but ultimately, as a picaresque novel, it is a character study. It studies a character universal enough that each person probably knows a Boon personally.
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Elizabeth Humphreys
phone: 5056584507
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