The Hearts of Men: A Novel

By Nickolas Butler
Read by Adam Verner

11.93 Hours 03/07/2017 unabridged
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An epic novel of intertwining friendships and families set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp—from the bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan. Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers, the aftermath demonstrates the depths—and the limits—of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery. The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality—and redemption.

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Summary

Summary

Finalist for the 2016 Prix Médicis Étranger

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2017

A March 2017 LibraryReads Pick

A BookPage Top Pick for March 2017

An epic novel of intertwining friendships and families set in the Northwoods of Wisconsin at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp—from the bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs

Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan.

Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers, the aftermath demonstrates the depths—and the limits—of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.

The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality—and redemption.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Part coming-of-age narrative, part meditation on masculinity, part war story, this novel had me spellbound.” Christina Baker Kline, New York Times bestselling author
“Butler captures the rites and rhythms of young manhood in intimate, clear-eyed detail…A potent exploration of friendship, betrayal, and all the markers of masculinity that can’t be measured by badges and trust falls.” Entertainment Weekly
“A multilayered, multigenerational mini-epic.” USA Today
“As grimly thrilling as anything in Lord of the Flies, and also more intimate.” New York Times Book Review
“Butler achieves a rare triple play here of brilliant characterizations, a riveting story line, and superlatively measured prose, putting him in the front ranks of contemporary American writers of literary fiction.” Booklist
“[A] big-hearted epic full of sturdy characters that wear their hearts—and pride—on their sleeves…Butler demonstrates enormous command over the material and sympathy for his flawed characters.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Explores the ways boys become men and how even flawed men may stand as models for the young…delving into the roots of the male character and how it may be shaped by a code of behavior or an exemplar and warped or strengthened by trauma.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“What does it really mean to be a good man?…[This] earnest exploration of the best and worst of male behavior, set against the backdrop of that quintessential laboratory for shaping it: the Boy Scouts.” BookPage
“Delves into the meaning of loyalty and friendship, how some rise to life’s challenges while others fail…Readers become emotionally invested in the strong, well-drawn characters and will be touched by the affecting and memorable conclusion.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Narrator Adam Verner’s deep, resonant voice transports listeners back to Camp Chippewa, 1962…Verner brings the necessary pathos to a story that spans decades. He ably gives life to these boys who become men and to the boys that follow. Butler’s story, as read by Verner, examines what it means to be a man, exploring the ideas of family, friendship, morality, and bravery.” AudioFile

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Author

Author Bio: Nickolas Butler

Nickolas Butler was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His writings have appeared in Narrative Magazine, Ploughshares, the Kenyon Review Online, the Progressive, the Christian Science Monitor, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 11.93
Audience: Adult
Edition: English