A triumph over shame and silence. —— Susan Pieters • A brave book, a necessary book. —— Andrew L. Wilson • Genuinely funny in places. —— Three Guys One Book • A rare literary achievement. —— Dennis Must, author of Oh, Don't Ask Why • Concise language and brutal honesty that burns like a shot of whisky. —— The Lab Review, Columbia College Chicago • It took great courage to write this novel. —— Vincent Louis Carrella
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"Mr. Thurber lays his soul bare in this book, like Prometheus exposing his liver to the eagles. It is the price paid for being a lightbringer, and Mr. Thurber gives us his life willingly, beautifully expressed. For readers with a history of sexual or physical abuse, this book is a comfort and consolation, a triumph over shame and silence. For other readers, this book may be disturbing but it is a powerful bridge to visit the terrain of abuse, and I would recommend it as a basis for dialogue with family or friends who have suffered this. Beyond the psychology, Paperboy is an artistic achievement. The quality of writing rivals Alice Munro, yet the story of Jack pulls us forward faster than any story of Munro's, for we are racing to know this boy better, this boy who does not slide into self-pity or blame, who braves his world with a power that we admire and cling to, a broken boy who will not break. He's my hero."
— Susan Pieters, Editor, PULP Literature
"Mr. Thurber is terse and surgical. He gives us only what we really need to see and know. I could not put this book down. I had to watch. Because, like in all great novels, the book was about me. I may not have had Jack's exact situation, but I related to it. It took great courage to write this novel and I commend Mr. Thurber for it. If only 10% of it is based on any of his own truth, than he is a hero. I found the paperboy I was looking for in this book. Thurber captures every bit of what it's like to work such a hard and thankless job (if only paper-routes were still given to boys). Paperboy however is not about a paperboy, it's about a boy as thin and fragile as a sheet of newsprint. This is a coming-of-age novel on meth. I highly recommend it to all brave readers who seek out truth, no matter how ugly it may be.
— Vincent Louis Carrella, Author of Serpent Box
Awards / Honors
Over the years Bob's work has received a long list of notable awards & citations, including:
• The Barry Hannah Fiction Prize
• The Marjory Bartlett Sanger Award
• Newport Review's Flash Fiction Award
• The Meridian Editors' Prize
• Esquire’s Short-short Fiction Contest
• Penn Cove Literary Arts Award
Renown for his very brief stories, Bob has been called a master of Micro Fiction and a pioneer of Flash Fiction. The New Yorker took note of his 25 word contribution to the Norton Anthology HINT FICTION