Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
The Boston Castrato
The Boston Castrato

The Boston Castrato


292 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Trade Paper, $17.95 (US $17.95) (CA $21.95)

Publication Date: October 2016

ISBN 9781909954205

Rights: US & CA

Barbican Press (Oct 2016)

Sorry, this item is temporarily out of stock


Runner up:2016 New England Book Festival Award, General FictionThis book does for 1920s Boston what E.L. Doctorow did for New York in Ragtime: it grabs a city out of history, mixes in some fiction and makes it vivid. Be it the high style of Boston's Parker House Hotel; the flagrant, fragrant set who dance attendance on the poet Amy Lowell; the scientists and shipbuilders and politicians and utter rogues who raise the city from the dirt; it all mmers into reality as an outsider leads us into its quaking heart. Raffi, a young Italian, is our guide. He left more than his country behind in Rome. Snipped by a bishop as the last castrato, he is bundled off to America when the Church takes shame. Forbidden to use his voice, other skills steal him into the society of 1920s Boston. Raffi enters the hardest quest of all--the search for a genuine love song.


"The Boston Castrato's real strengths lie in its characterization and how it weaves together subplots. Strong portrayals of crooked pols, hit men, imposters, gangsters, aspiring singers, and psychics barrel on to their dramatic conclusions." â€â€Eve Ottenberg, Washington City Paper

"Weaving together a dizzying number of intersecting plots, Sargent captures the bustling excitementâ€â€and seedy gritâ€â€of early 1920s Boston . . . Sweeping and ambitious." â€â€Kirkus Reviews

"Raffi's multifaceted journey celebrates the strange and proves an endlessly entertaining ride through his world and the challenges he faces. From revenge, murder, lifelong rivalry, and love, little cannot be found in Sargent's The Boston Castrato." â€â€Jackie Mohan, The Virginian Pilot

Author Biography

Colin W. Sargent is a novelist, poet, and founding editor and publisher of Portland Magazine. Publishers Weekly praised his novel Museum of Human Beings as "a stylish look at the fate of Sacagawea's baby son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau." As a helicopter pilot, Sargent was entranced by the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, he has an M.F.A. from Stonecoast and a Ph.D. in creative writing from Lancaster University. He divides his time between the coasts of Maine, Virginia, and, when possible, the rest of the world.