The Boy Who Couldn't Die

By: William Sleator


When his best friend is killed in a plane crash, Ken makes a decision: He will never die. As the only child of rich, indulgent parents, Ken is used to getting his way, and this time is no different. He finds a woman who claims she can make him invulnerable to pain and death for the unbelievably cheap priceof fifty dollars. And her strange ritual works. Ken cant be burned, beaten up, or even bitten by the sharks he dives amongst on his spring break in the Caribbean.


Best known for his dystopian stories, Sleator often placed his teenage protagonists in uneasy, sometimes frightening situations where they encountered aliens and even evil dolls. In one of his best-known books, House of Stairs (Dutton, 1974), five teenage orphans wake up, locked in a house without windows or doors. The book, named one of the 100 Best Books for Teens by the American Library Association, was the first he wrote for editor Ann Durrell, spawning the beginning of a long collaboration.Sleator walked the line at times between science fiction and horror, but was also known to pull from his own life for stories, such as for his collection of autobiographical tales.Born in Havre de Grace, MD, on Feb. 13, 1945, Sleator came from a family steeped in the sciences, but drifted to the arts at a young age, crafting musical pieces for the piano as well as stories to his family's delight. For awhile, he balanced a career in both music and writing, working as an accompanist for organizations including the Boston Ballet after graduating from Harvard University. He was eventually was able to support himself full time from his storytelling.
The Boy Who Couldn't Die
The Boy Who Couldn't Die -- Book Trailer

William Sleator Books