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 Carre 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.
Whipping Boy includes 16 pages of black-and-white photographs and 91 images throughout.