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Download Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully Audiobook, by Allen Kurzweil Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Allen Kurzweil Narrator: Allen Kurzweil Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9780062308573
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Equal parts investigative memoir, crime procedural, and revenge thriller, Whipping Boy chronicles the author’s real-life search for the childhood nemesis who has haunted his life for over forty years.

Abused as a ten-year-old at a prestigious English boarding school nestled in the Swiss Alps, Allen Kurzweil, author of the acclaimed bestseller A Case of Curiosities, takes the reader around the world—from the Vienna Woods to the slums of Manila to the boardroom of the world’s largest law firm high above New York City—to locate and confront his long-lost tormentor, a twelve-year-old named Cesar Augustus who tied him up and whipped him to the strains of Jesus Christ Superstar.

What begins as an anxiety-fueled quest for revenge takes an elaborate detour when the author discovers that Cesar has recently been released from federal prison for his role in a byzantine scheme perpetrated by a felonious duke, a Congolese king, a fugitive prince who traces his roots back to Vlad the Impaler, and a spats-wearing baron born in Toledo, Ohio.

You can’t make this stuff up (unless you’re a world-class swindler). By chance, Kurzweil finds himself privy to the voluminous files of the federal prosecutor who brought Cesar to justice, and a journalist’s curiosity clashes with a victim’s fear of facing down his old nemesis.

A scrupulously researched work of non-fiction that reads like a John Le Carré novel, Whipping Boy is more than a tale of karmic retribution. It is a heartfelt and darkly comic meditation on forgetfulness and memory, trauma and recovery, born of suffering and nourished by obsession, and resolved in a final act of courage.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Whipping Boy is like nothing I’ve ever read, an investigative memoir that’s honest, funny, sad, and edge-of-the-chair suspenseful. I loved it.”

    Dan Okrent, New York Times bestselling author

  • “What makes the book such a delight is less what Kurzweil uncovers that than the self-conscious absurdity he acknowledges in his search. Social media eventually reunites Kurzweil with his tormentor, and the inevitable confrontation, like the story, is both confounding and deeply satisfying.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A fascinating, multi-pronged morality tale about victimhood, skewed perception, and the liberation of facing your demons.”

    Washington Post

  • “A captivating hybrid of investigative journalism and memoir…Kurzweil is not simply settling a private score; he’s standing up for anyone who has ever been bullied.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Kurzweil does the delightfully unexpected: He morphs his story from a poignant memoir into a true-crime thriller.”


  • “A memoir that reads like a thriller.”

    Tampa Bay Times

  • “[Kurzweil’s] account of the pursuit reads like a literary thriller—it’s intriguing, relentless and sure to hold special fascination for anyone with memories of his or her own childhood bully.”


  • “Novelist Kurzweil was bullied by a roommate named Cesar Augustus at a tiny Swiss boarding school—being whipped with a belt is the worst outrage—and later in life set out to learn what had become of his tormentor…Kurzweil crafts an entertaining, sharply reported picaresque…A comic-opera true-crime saga that’s ripe with hilarious humbuggery.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Reads like an engrossing detective story. Kurzweil is, by his own admission, a man obsessed. His emotions take a backseat to describing his investigatory feats, which lead him to a wide-ranging, multimillion-dollar scam…The story will resonate with anyone who had a Cesar growing up, as so many did.”


  • “One man’s search for his childhood bully, who turned out to be far more than that…Full of intrigue and suspense, the story follows the bizarre twists and turns of one man’s journey to find and confront his childhood tormentor—ready-made for a film treatment.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Fact Crime
  • A BookPage Top Pick for February 2015
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for 11 Memoirs That Read Better Than a Novel
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About the Author
Author Allen Kurzweil

Allen Kurzweil is the prizewinning author of two novels for adults—A Case of Curiosities and The Grand Complication—and two works of fiction for children—Leon and the Spitting Image and Leon and the Champion Chip. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations and the New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers, Kurzweil is currently a fellow at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization at Brown University. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife and son.