Almost Kings by Max Doty
With their father lost in anger and self-loathing, James “Truck” Wheeler has raised his younger brother Ted as best as he could, considering he’s just a teenager himself. In return, Ted idolizes his brother.
Now, during their one year of high school together, Ted will realize there are troubling aspects to Truck and his friends, The Kings. When the boys assign numbers to each girl at school and begin a dark contest, Ted will be caught playing a game that targets his best friends, including the girl he loves: Kallea Whitney.
The original novel that inspired the award-winning film, Almost Kings is a gritty, powerful story of the choices that bring two brothers together and tear them apart.
I can’t remember if I found Almost Kings the movie or the book first. The interesting thing was that I was able to read and watch the movie at basically the same time, yes I did have to stop the movie a few times for me to catch up in the book.
For the most part the movie plays exactly like the book. It could definitely be used as a cheat. It really doesn’t make a difference, an extra forty minutes give or take and you could have read the book. Plus the movie doesn’t have the epilogue that the book does.
Max Doty tells this coming of age drama set in the Midwest plays better as a book. Not that I’m knocking the acting but there are motives to the characters that aren’t explained in the movie. Where the movie ends with the final numbered chapter the epilogue explains the fates of the character and it definitely puts this into perspective.
I give Almost Kings 2 out 5.
NOTE: After seeing a few reviews I might have to reread this novel. I read this novel after reading the numbingly heartbreaking Room. So my review may be skewed because of that book but I don’t think so.