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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Brian Oswald is an oddly endearing, conflicted Chicago high school student, obsessed with hard rock and his best friend, a pink-haired punk named Gretchen. Brian frets over his attraction to Gretchen; after all, she's overweight, belligerent, and prone to fistfights. Like all teenagers, Brian struggles with his identity. A bit of an outcast, he uses this condition to assess the social options available to him at his parochial school. Quiet, introspective Brian identifies best with the punks, even if he doesn't quite join their ranks. But his emotional honesty allows him to see clearly behind their arrogant posturing a very real anger and a true love of music: "When everything else was wrong, [the music] made it right."
Hairstyles of the Damned is a richly detailed, deeply evocative account of those painfully remembered teenage years -- a time of roller-coaster emotions, when nearly every insignificant slight feels like a body slam. Meno's prose pulls no punches. His language is raunchy, direct from the mouths of punks, and pungently recalls American adolescence in the '90s as a time so raw that readers will cringe at its veracity, fictional though his account may be. Meno's snapshot of the past is so achingly lucid, so compelling, and so alive, that readers will not only see it but will smell it, taste it, and feel it as well. (Holiday 2004 Selection)