The Kid: The Disturbing Tale of an Young Boy's Journey
The Kid is not for the faint of heart. It depicts the heart-wrenching journey of a young boy who loses his mother at the tender age of nine. The boy, known throughout the book as both Abdul and JJ is initially sent to foster care and later to an all boy’s Catholic school. In both situations he encounters violence and sexual abuse. As a result of his own difficult upbringing he becomes a sexual abuser and is kicked out of the Catholic school for imposing himself upon a small child. On the cusp of his teenage years he is sent to live with a family member he never knew existed and as his young life progresses he moves into an apartment with a man in exchange for sexual favors.
The novel depicts the difficulty of being raised in institutional systems without parents. It is told from Abdul’s mentally ill point of view and as a result can be extremely difficult to follow. The book flitters back and forth between reality and fantasy. As the pages go on it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between the two. Sometimes Abdul is dreaming, sometimes creating his own made-up identity and other times living in the moments that make up his young adulthood.
As a reader of this novel I felt unbelievably conflicted by the main character’s journey. Because Abdul travels back and forth between make-believe and reality so often it is difficult to truly understand his deepest thoughts and motivations. It is hard to follow the stream-of-consciousness that makes up this story and to be honest there was more than one occasion where the rambling words of the main character made me want to give up on The Kid.
The end of the this story depicts an evil world that swallows the childhood and young adulthood of an unfortunate nine-year-old boy who has lost his parents and is for all intents and purposes without family.