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Peter Hoffmeister was a nervous child who ran away repeatedly and bit his fingernails until they bled. Home-schooled until the age of fourteen, he had only to deal with his parents and siblings on a daily basis, yet even that sometimes proved too much for him. Over the years, he watched his mother disintegrate into her own form of mania, while his father-a scholar and doctor who had once played semi-pro baseball-was strict and pushed Peter particularly hard. He wanted only the best from his son but in the process taught Peter to expect only the worst from himself. In the midst of his chaotic home life, Peter began to hear a voice-an insistent, monotone that would periodically dictate his actions. When Peter finally entered public school he started to break free from his father’s control-only to fall sway to the voice more and more. His obsessive-compulsive behavior morphed into ruthless competition in sports and, ultimately, into lies, violence, and drugs.

The End of Boys follows Hoffmeister to the very brink of sanity and back, in a harrowing and heartbreaking account of the trauma of adolescence and the redemption available to us all, if only we choose to find it.

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