The Failure of Male Societies: Author Andrew Smith Tackles Monsters and Sex

eleven is where Smith's books begin. In Grasshopper Jungle, an Iowa teenager's joyful sexual confusion plays out against an apocalyptic backdrop of man-made super insects that hatch from the bodies of the boys who beat him up. In Smith's new novel, The Alex Crow, a young Syrian refugee finds himself the newly adopted son of a deranged (though well-intentioned) scientist who works on reanimating dead species for the US government to use as living spies. Then the kid goes to summer camp. Smith's books are like that: zany without being whimsical, of-this-world without being limited by its conventions.

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