Whipping Boy

  • by Allen Kurzweil
  • Narrated by Allen Kurzweil
  • 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The true account of one man's lifelong search for his boarding-school bully.
Equal parts childhood memoir and literary thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles Allen Kurzweil's search for his 12-year-old nemesis, a bully named Cesar Augustus. The obsessive inquiry, which spans some 40 years, takes Kurzweil all over the world, from a Swiss boarding school (where he endures horrifying cruelty) to the slums of Manila, from the Park Avenue boardroom of the world's largest law firm to a federal prison camp in Southern California. While tracking down his tormentor, the author encounters an improbable cast of characters that includes an elocution teacher with ill-fitting dentures, a gang of faux-royal swindlers, a crime investigator with "paper in his blood", and a monocled grand master of the Knights of Malta. Yet for all its global exoticism and comic exuberance, Kurzweil's riveting account is, at its core, a heartfelt and suspenseful narrative about the "parallel lives" of a victim and his abuser.
A scrupulously researched and richly illustrated work of nonfiction that renders a childhood menace into an unlikely muse, Whipping Boy is much more than a tale of karmic retribution; it is a poignant meditation on loss, memory, and mourning, a surreal odyssey born out of suffering, nourished by rancor, tempered by wit, and resolved, unexpectedly, in a breathtaking act of personal courage.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not for me.

I just don't get this book! Who spends forty years letting a bully effect your life and looking for him? Everyone has been been bullied, some worse than others, but you move on with life and put it behind you. Maybe this was his answer to therapy? Maybe he's still too young to have the tools to learn how to let go of the past? I really don't know. All I know is this book just wasn't for me. After skipping through chapters trying to make sense of it, I gave up and didn't finish.
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- B Rose

Everyone Needs a Hobby...I guess


Whipping Boy was totally different than what I was anticipating. I foresaw more a story about 10 year old boys and how they matured, or didn't. I was not expecting a book that is largely in-depth legalese about a financial crime. It was as much, if not more, a book about a nameless international fraud as it was about the author’s personal revelation and retribution.

Allen Kuzweil is a well-known author of children’s books. In midlife he decided to try to find a childhood nemesis, a boy he knew for about eight months. This search turned into more than night stalking on facebook and google. It became a hobby that led him to an extensive research of a crime over years and time zones. Kuzweil did “scurrilously research” for this project. He did fine job writing. He interjected humor and personal stories into a lot of tedious information. Mr Kuzweil’s examination should have been more inwardly directed.

The fault of this book is that Mr Kuzweil never for a second takes into consideration that his 10 year old self’s recollection has to be somewhat flawed. Partly because his detached existence and the emotional turmoil he was under had to weigh in on the thoughts of the event. His memory is not the be-all and end-all truth. As a mother of adult children, I was there for many a childhood event that turns into many adult memories that were not anywhere close to reality. Considering that the main infraction against the author was not witness or proved, I think it is not fair to claim it to be fact.
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- tooonce72

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-20-2015
  • Publisher: HarperAudio