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Magic City

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Overview

Catcher in the Rye for the Fight Club generation in this PUSH Novel Contest winner, written by a teen whose name you're going to see a lot of in years to come.

Henry's suffering. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since a hurricane hit his house, with him alone in it. He's suffering from indecision in his relationships with girls. He's suffering because he's got a new friend, Charlie Bickle, who seems to like to see him suffer. It's all a part of life, ...

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Overview

Catcher in the Rye for the Fight Club generation in this PUSH Novel Contest winner, written by a teen whose name you're going to see a lot of in years to come.

Henry's suffering. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since a hurricane hit his house, with him alone in it. He's suffering from indecision in his relationships with girls. He's suffering because he's got a new friend, Charlie Bickle, who seems to like to see him suffer. It's all a part of life, Charlie says. Henry wants to believe it's true. He wants to think that life can be kept at arm's distance. He wants to be convinced that life is bullshit. His curse is that he knows better. And that curse will also be his salvation.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Amy S. Pattee
Life is tough for Henry: He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), resulting from his near death in a hurricane; his parents are never home; his girlfriend Becca just broke up with him; and he is not sure that he wants to be friends with his best friend, Bill, anymore. A chance meeting with Charlie, a mysterious and dangerous former classmate expelled for punching a teacher, leads to an unlikely and sometimes frightening partnership. Charlie, who claims to be nearly homeless and who lives by his own code of questionable ethics, introduces Henry to deviance and nihilism as the two drive around aimlessly. When Charlie steps over the line and hooks up with Henry's ex-girlfriend, Henry begins to re-evaluate his relationship with Charlie, Bill, and Becca. This first novel by Dartmouth University student Lerman is overly long, meandering, and nearly unreadable. Although the allure of the dangerous friend is a topic explored in much young adult literature, this treatment fails to fully realize its potential. Henry's listless first-person narration makes his depression over his breakup with Becca seem curious and Charlie's "betrayal" less of a dramatic climax than it is perhaps intended. The novel is heavily invested in the characters' somewhat philosophical conversations and in Henry's mental replaying of these conversations, which although realistic, comes off as repetitive. Lerman's narrator's self-absorption is difficult to digest. Although this narcissism works in Catcher in the Rye because it is tempered with a sense of vulnerability, the humanity and charm is missing-PTSD or no-from the narrator and from the novel.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439890274
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2007
  • Series: Push Fiction Series
  • Pages: 322
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.06 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 4, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Long Nguyen for TeensReadToo.com

    PUSH Writing Intern alumnus Drew Lerman won his internship when he was a junior in high school. MAGIC CITY is a testament to Lerman's incredible writing talent at such a young age. Lerman's handle on the English language and ability to portray characters so real and tangible creates those rare moments of escapism all readers hopefully look for in a novel. <BR/><BR/>Henry is the protagonist. He's suffering. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after he was left alone in his home when a hurricane hit the Magic City of Miami, tearing his home to mere shambles with him still in the house. Now he's loaded up on pills and is being constantly reminded by everything around him of memories of what his therapist says he should forget. <BR/><BR/>Henry's newly befriended comrade in arms, Charlie, likes to see Henry up against the wall, gun to his head, finger to the trigger, suffering. Charlie is the embodiment of Lerman's clever literary device to foil Henry, and to spark, among other things, deep-minded philosophical Q&A sessions -- whose topics run anywhere from whether or not the whole world can be grouped into three different types of people to Nietzsche-sourced references of power, control, and 'God is dead.' <BR/><BR/>Henry wants to believe that everything that's going on is okay. That it's in the past, okay, good, get over it. But he can't, and he's suffering. And his girlfriend broke up with him. <BR/><BR/>Showing bear-down command of rhetoric and prose, Drew Lerman's debut novel showcases him as a voice quite unheard of before. His portrayal of high school life and the internal struggles of human nature in teenagers lends itself to all people and is significantly compelling and very original. <BR/><BR/>Cheers to D.L.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    Magic City

    The book was very predictable but was also intersting at times. Ocasionally, twists were added at times in the book to question the authors opinion

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    PUSH Writing Intern alumnus Drew Lerman won his internship when he was a junior in high school. MAGIC CITY is a testament to Lerman's incredible writing talent at such a young age. Lerman's handle on the English language and ability to portray characters so real and tangible creates those rare moments of escapism all readers hopefully look for in a novel. Henry is the protagonist. He's suffering. He's suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after he was left alone in his home when a hurricane hit the Magic City of Miami, tearing his home to mere shambles with him still in the house. Now he's loaded up on pills and is being constantly reminded by everything around him of memories of what his therapist says he should forget. Henry's newly befriended comrade in arms, Charlie, likes to see Henry up against the wall, gun to his head, finger to the trigger, suffering. Charlie is the embodiment of Lerman's clever literary device to foil Henry, and to spark, among other things, deep-minded philosophical Q&A sessions -- whose topics run anywhere from whether or not the whole world can be grouped into three different types of people to Nietzsche-sourced references of power, control, and 'God is dead.' Henry wants to believe that everything that's going on is okay. That it's in the past, okay, good, get over it. But he can't, and he's suffering. And his girlfriend broke up with him. Showing bear-down command of rhetoric and prose, Drew Lerman's debut novel showcases him as a voice quite unheard of before. His portrayal of high school life and the internal struggles of human nature in teenagers lends itself to all people and is significantly compelling and very original. Cheers to D.L. **Reviewed by: Long Nguyen

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2007

    Great book

    This book was great all, throughou the whole book i wanted to read more and more every time, which is really rare.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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