Earl Robert Key

Michael DeAngelo Nicholas decided to spill his insides out onto paper at the age of nineteen when he wrote his initial manuscript for Strong Boy, Weak Man.

The story’s enormous sensitivity and clarity have obviously risen up from the depths of Michael DeAngelo Nicholas’ childhood experiences, spilling over into his young adulthood. His story attempts to unravel the poverty-driven culture of the times in rural Mississippi, while rushing to embrace a more promising lifestyle in the glamour-lit, fast-paced Memphis, Tennessee. He shares certain family hardships and disappointments, making them a vital part of the book, and eventually allowing that part to render a happy ending.

Michael DeAngelo reveals the intense motivation, drive, and determination he possessed during the worst times. In spite of serious learning deficiencies, intensified by unhappy family issues, he pressed forward to accomplish the special goals he held so deep within.



“Does being educated make you act the way you do?”


“Does not being educated make you treat your family the way you do?”


“You don’t miss your water until your well run dry, and a perfect example of the hunter get captured by the gang.”


“I’m gon’ join the Marine Corps. And, the money I earn I’m gon’ mail it back to my mother, and if I’m killed she’ll automatically receive ten thousand dollars.”


 “Key’s immensely detailed novel highlights the limitations and traumas of an underprivileged boy facing uncertainties of adulthood amid a changing American landscape. Here, Key fondly recalls the glory days of high school football and youthful yearnings that are juxtaposed with family hardships, personal relationships, and political and social strife. Although fictional, Key’s novel feels somewhat autobiographical as he wrestles with themes of fathers and sons, inaccessible dreams, and the pressures of a rural coming-of-age. While, at times, the wordy narrative and sparse dialogue can elicit neutrality toward the self-destructive Mike, the reader still celebrates and roots for Key’s protagonist by the end of this sympathetic and tenderhearted tale.”

Dylan Ward – US Review of books




The book cover for STRONG BOY, WEAK MAN depicts a mighty black man’s back under the American flag, implying that the story readers will find inside delves into what it’s meant for African American people to have carried the weight of the United States of America on their shoulders for centuries, perhaps in ways comparable to the books by Ta-Nehisi Coates (ie Between the World and Me, etc) currently adding so much to this long-suppressed conversation. And while STRONG BOY, WEAK MAN by Earl Robert Key gets off to a robust beginning, it then falters

IndieReaders Reviewer




“Strong Boy, Weak Man would be ideal for readers who want to read novels about the African-American male experience. The novel would also be ideal for any reader that wants to read about life during the 1960’s. The book could be given to young adult readers that want to read about a young person’s struggle with adulthood. Strong Boy, Weak Man is a novel that will entertain and enlighten readers about a boy’s journey to manhood.”

Ella Vincent – Pacific Book Review




“Strong Boy, Weak Man is a wonderful story with a promising and likable main character. The storyline is easy to follow and full of interesting events.”

5 Stars Review

Reviewed by Kristi Elizabeth San Francisco Book Review – City Book Review




“Readers facing obstacles in life will appreciate the vision and reassurance of Key’s work. Strong Boy, Weak Man will leave every reader anxious to dive into Key’s next great work.”

5 Stars Review

Reviewed by Jessica Tingling Tulsa Book Review – City Book Review



“Strong Boy, Weak Man is a moving look at a boy’s transition into manhood. The protagonist generates the interest of the reader from his initial introduction. Mike represents the dreamer in many of us and the willingness to buck conventions when failure is not an option. Mike is fallible, but you find yourself rooting for him to succeed in life and love. The author has penned an emotionally taut story of growth.”

 5 Stars Review

Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro Manhattan Book Review – City Book Review




“I will always remember that every student has talent and gifts. I will always remember Mike’s prayers of thankfulness every night before bed. I truly believe this book has made me a better person, and I look forward to another miracle book from Mr. Keys—from barely reading to published author.”

 5 Stars Review

Reviewed by Johnna Rocker-Clinton Seattle Book Review – City Book Review

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