Fat Man and Little Boy

Mike Meginnis. Black Balloon (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (424p) ISBN 978-1-936787-20-3
This imaginative debut novel from Meginnis, the 2013 winner of the first Horatio Nelson Prize for Fiction, tells the story of anthropomorphic brother bombs that were “born” from the blasts of the atomic bombs Fat Man and Little Boy, which were dropped on Japan in August 1945. Fat Man resembles a “shaved bear,” while his brother, Little Boy, who is older by three days, appears “pale and pink.” While the two brothers (American like the bomb they were born from), search for food and money, they plot to leave hostile postwar Japan for France, and adopt the aliases John and Matthew for their forged passports. Their snappy dialogue, including their arguments over which brother should be in charge, is often funny. Once they arrive in France, the brothers take menial jobs working in a restaurant until they run afoul of the police due to their lustful misdeeds. They meet Rosie Cummings, who runs a hotel in southern France, and she hires the brothers to come work for her. Over time, Fat Man grows larger, decides to marry Rosie, and they have a daughter, Maggie, whom Little Boy adores. By 1956, with their shady past catching up to them, Fat Man and Little Boy relocate with their family to the U.S., and ultimately end up in Hollywood. Meginnis’s story is both surprising and incisive. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/11/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-936787-21-0
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