Nick Arvin, "Mad Boy"
June 21, 2018, 7:00 PM
Henry Phipps is the eponymous Mad Boy in Nick Arvin’s rollicking, picaresque novel about family and perseverance set during America’s “forgotten war” of 1812. Henry’s stubborn determination to fulfill the dying wish of his mother - to be buried at sea surrounded by her family - knows no bounds. As he dodges clashing armies of the “forgotten war” of 1812 and picks among the ruins of a burning capital he meets looters, British defectors, renegade slaves, a pregnant maiden in distress, and scoundrels of all types. Mad Boy is at once an antic adventure and a thoroughly convincing work of historical fiction that recreates a young nation’s first truly international conflict and a key moment in the history of the emancipation of African-American slaves. Entertaining, atmospheric, and touching, Mad Boy will transport readers with its cast of vivid characters, its masterful storytelling, and its poignant tale of a young man burdened by an outsized undertaking.