||Disturbed, obsessive, and perverted are all words that have been used to describe teenager Douglas Hanson. Refusing to see the truth of his situation or to take the anti-psychotics prescribed by his shrink, Doug single-mindedly tends to Madham, a miniature train town that covers three ping-pong tables in the isolation of his basement. His only other interests are his best friend, football star Andy Morrow, and the gorgeous Melissa Haverman. Melissa thinks he's repulsive, but Andy is his partner in crime, a crime that Doug continues to push out of his mind as much as possible. But soon his stalker-like interest in Melissa and his friendship with Andy come to the attention of others, and he is forced to face the truth. This deeply upsetting, powerful exploration of teen psychosis is from the author of GODLESS, the 2004 winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2005.
||There is something about trains. The sound they make. The way they go by, one car after another after another after another.
|| You could say that my railroad, the Madham Line, is almost the most important thing in my life. Next to Andy Morrow, my best friend. Lots of people think Doug Hanson is a freak -- he gets beat up after school, and the girl of his dreams calls him a worm. Doug's only refuge is creating an elaborate bridge for the model railroad in his basement and hanging out with his best friend, Andy Morrow, a popular football star who could date any girl in school. Doug and Andy talk about everything -- except what happened at the Tuttle place a few years back. It does not matter to Andy that we live in completely different realities. I'm Andy's best friend. It does not matter to Andy that we hardly ever actually do anything together. As Doug retreats deeper and deeper into his own reality, long-buried secrets threaten to destroy both Doug and Andy -- and everything else in Doug's fragile world.
|Editors Note 3
||Doug and Andy are unlikely best friends--one a loner obsessed by his model trains, the other a popular student involved in football and theater--who grew up together and share a bond that nothing can sever.