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Posted May 23, 2012
The story pivots around the 45th year high school reunion of Jimmy. Like all such reunions,it is natural to reflect on how “life has turned out”. Even though Jimmy is now an older man, not everything from those earlier years has been “worked out”. And so, these reflections are more than just a review of Jimmy’s life: they are an important and complicating factor in his current circumstances.
Jimmy and his friend’s lives have not been remarkable, so it is not a book, likes so many, about characters and circumstances on the upper or lower fringes of the human bell curve. That is, in my mind, what makes this book so good. The book seems (is) authentic/real, more “touchable” if your life has veered toward the center of the” human bell curve”. But don’t worry, there is plenty in even a normal life (family alcoholism, first love and first loss, the slow ending of segregation, even danger) to keep one interested.
Because this novel is so authentic in tone, it is hard not to think abut the parallels between the reader’s life and the lives of the characters in the story. It is an unexpected surprise to read a book, only to discover, that to one degree or another, it is story about you!
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