978-1-882593-66-8 • Hardback • November 2002 • $23.95 • (£17.99)
978-1-882593-80-4 • Paperback • January 2004 • $15.95 • (£11.99)
978-1-4616-2332-8 • eBook • January 2004 • $14.99 • (£11.99)
Nelson's brilliant novel reveals itself to be a contemplation on society and existentialism...The plot delves into myriad issues—personal responsibility, the idea of community, perception vs. reality, differences of perspective, free will vs. destiny—without preaching about any of them....Nelson's writing is simple and stark, not unlike that of Kafka or that other great existentialist-novelist, Albert Camus...Satisfying...The Boy in the Box is above all else one man's pondering what it means to be human.
As The Boy in the Box cuts a paranoid arc through a superficially mundane New York, it also hauls aboard, for one, Joseph Heller, in Smith's hilarious but frightening encounter with a couple of cops...who call to mindCatch 22....Not to mention Philip K. Dick...and Jorge Luis Borges...Throughout, first-time novelist Nelson speaks with his own assured and wonderfully askew voice in what becomes a dizzying, disorienting and shockingly entertaining meditation on the nature of reality and the concept of free will.
A sort of American Candide....Nelson does evoke the strangeness of being alone in a new city. In the end he makes the reader realize that the book is the box, and Smith is the boy in it—or maybe you are. Recommended.
The reader empathizes with Smith for the apparent heartlessness, fear, and unfriendliness of New Yorkers....Nelson has created a wonderfully realistic world....The allusion to Franz Kafka is evident, but Mr. Nelson has a theme and style all his own as the reader is drawn ever tighter into the concentric circles moving not inward, but outward into the unknown.
— Corinna Lothar; The Washington Times