The Boys Are Back in Town

Mass Market Paperback $6.99

Spectra | Feb 26, 2008 | 416 Pages | 4-3/16 x 6-7/8 | ISBN 9780553586152

  • Ebook$6.99

    Bantam | Feb 03, 2004 | ISBN 9780553898828

Author Q&A

Bringing the Boys Back to Town
By Christopher Golden

What do you cherish?

It’s a word that makes some people squeamish. The word love is such a part of our daily lives, even for people who aren’t all that familiar with what it means, that it’s tossed about haphazardly. But cherish is a different sort of word. What do you hold close to your private heart? What means so much to you that merely the thought of it makes you emotional?

If you’re a parent, surely your children fall into that category. Particularly when they’re sleeping instead of driving you insane. If you are fortunate enough to be in love, then your partner, certainly. But how many other things can you honestly brand with that word?

For me, and I suspect for many of you, the word conjures up images of keepsakes, souvenirs of past moments kept in a box. I cherish my memories, even many of the bad ones. I hold them close.

The subject of cherishing the past has infiltrated several of my previous novels, but it took time for me to formulate precisely what I was attempting to say on the subject. I’m a nostalgic. Proud to be one, in fact. There are those who will look down their nose at this confession, but I make no apologies. Unfortunately, nostalgia has become a bad word in the Western lexicon. It brings to mind images of people who are stuck in the past, who cannot find pleasure in their present-day lives or any hope for the future, and so linger in their memories and wishes about what might have been.

But to me being a nostalgic simply means that I cherish the past. I cherish every day I look back upon, and the relationships I have had, and the years of my youth as gifts I have been given.

I live for today, and for tomorrow.

But without yesterday, I am nothing.

Without the skinned knees and the tears and the broken friendships, without the Christmas mornings and the whispered promises and the wide-eyed discovery, I am nothing. Every experience, every relationship, from the moment of my birth, has contributed to making me who I am now.

The same is true of you as well.

Of all of us.

Think about that for a moment.

And then about this . . . in the entirety of human existence there is nothing that we find more unsettling than having what we cherish taken away. Our parents. Our children. Our homes. Our work. Our keepsakes. An exaggeration? I think not. On the nightly news, when a fire has claimed a family home, one of the first things the unfortunate former homeowners always say is that they are devastated by the loss of their family photographs. Irreplaceable memories.

Now stop and think . . . what would it feel like if rather than just photographs, the fire had claimed your actual memories? What if the friendships and experiences of your most formative years could be damaged or rearranged?

How might it change you?

We are all aware—some of us tragically from firsthand experience—how the memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease also leads to a loss of self, an utter change in behavior, usually very much for the worse.

What do you cherish?

If, like me, you cherish your memories, your past, you will share my fear of having those things taken away. The very thought is more than unsettling. If those memories and moments are the building blocks of who we are, what happens if some of the blocks are taken away?

Beneath the magic and the mystery of The Boys Are Back in Town is that fundamental fear. And in writing the novel, I added a second question to the first.

What do you cherish?

Are you willing to fight for it?


From the Trade Paperback edition.

 

Bringing the Boys Back to Town
By Christopher Golden

What do you cherish?

It’s a word that makes some people squeamish. The word love is such a part of our daily lives, even for people who aren’t all that familiar with what it means, that it’s tossed about haphazardly. But cherish is a different sort of word. What do you hold close to your private heart? What means so much to you that merely the thought of it makes you emotional?

If you’re a parent, surely your children fall into that category. Particularly when they’re sleeping instead of driving you insane. If you are fortunate enough to be in love, then your partner, certainly. But how many other things can you honestly brand with that word?

For me, and I suspect for many of you, the word conjures up images of keepsakes, souvenirs of past moments kept in a box. I cherish my memories, even many of the bad ones. I hold them close.

The subject of cherishing the past has infiltrated several of my previous novels, but it took time for me to formulate precisely what I was attempting to say on the subject. I’m a nostalgic. Proud to be one, in fact. There are those who will look down their nose at this confession, but I make no apologies. Unfortunately, nostalgia has become a bad word in the Western lexicon. It brings to mind images of people who are stuck in the past, who cannot find pleasure in their present-day lives or any hope for the future, and so linger in their memories and wishes about what might have been.

But to me being a nostalgic simply means that I cherish the past. I cherish every day I look back upon, and the relationships I have had, and the years of my youth as gifts I have been given.

I live for today, and for tomorrow.

But without yesterday, I am nothing.

Without the skinned knees and the tears and the broken friendships, without the Christmas mornings and the whispered promises and the wide-eyed discovery, I am nothing. Every experience, every relationship, from the moment of my birth, has contributed to making me who I am now.

The same is true of you as well.

Of all of us.

Think about that for a moment.

And then about this . . . in the entirety of human existence there is nothing that we find more unsettling than having what we cherish taken away. Our parents. Our children. Our homes. Our work. Our keepsakes. An exaggeration? I think not. On the nightly news, when a fire has claimed a family home, one of the first things the unfortunate former homeowners always say is that they are devastated by the loss of their family photographs. Irreplaceable memories.

Now stop and think . . . what would it feel like if rather than just photographs, the fire had claimed your actual memories? What if the friendships and experiences of your most formative years could be damaged or rearranged?

How might it change you?

We are all aware—some of us tragically from firsthand experience—how the memory loss of Alzheimer’s disease also leads to a loss of self, an utter change in behavior, usually very much for the worse.

What do you cherish?

If, like me, you cherish your memories, your past, you will share my fear of having those things taken away. The very thought is more than unsettling. If those memories and moments are the building blocks of who we are, what happens if some of the blocks are taken away?

Beneath the magic and the mystery of The Boys Are Back in Town is that fundamental fear. And in writing the novel, I added a second question to the first.

What do you cherish?

Are you willing to fight for it?


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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