Review: Black Bottle Man

Black Bottle Man

Black Bot­tle Man

Rem­brandt is ten years old when his life is turned upside-down.

It’s 1928, and the Great Depres­sion has yet to begin. Rem­brandt’s entire world is his extend­ed fam­i­ly, three house­holds of farm­ers who live very close to each oth­er, as farm hous­es go. He’s the only child in three fam­i­lies, and his aunts both want a child very badly.

So bad­ly, in fact, that they’ll cut a deal with the Dev­il to get what they want.

To save his aunts’ souls, Rem­brandt, his pa, and his uncle Thomp­son have to take to the road, nev­er stay­ing in any one place longer than twelve days. Because on the thir­teenth day, the Black Bot­tle Man will come for them…

* * *

This one took me by sur­prise; it built so steadi­ly, and so qui­et­ly, skip­ping from Rem­brandt’s youth to his 90-year-old dotage, that I did­n’t real­ize until the end just how much I had invest­ed in it. The cli­max caught me off guard with just how much emo­tion it wrung from me. Not many books have made me tear up. This one did­n’t, either, but man it was a near thing.

My only com­plaint would be that I found a few gram­mat­i­cal quib­bles, here and there, but on the whole this book is high­ly recommended.

Writ­ten by Craig Rus­sell, based on his radio play of the same name, Black Bot­tle Man is pub­lished by Great Plains Teen Fic­tion, an imprint of Great Plains Pub­li­ca­tions. My copy is signed because I went to the book launch at Pen­ny­wise Books here in Brandon.

Get it…
from the publisher
from Chapters/Indigo