Merit Badges

Merit Badges

by Kevin Fenton
     
 

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Fiction. Winner of the AWP Prize for the Novel, judged by Jim Shepard. Follow four friends as they move from The Brady Bunch to Seinfeld, from junior high to middle management. There is Quint, whose rebellion frays into self-destruction; Slow, who struggles to become the world's first teenage father figure; Chimes, who fears losing his friendsSee more details below

Overview


Fiction. Winner of the AWP Prize for the Novel, judged by Jim Shepard. Follow four friends as they move from The Brady Bunch to Seinfeld, from junior high to middle management. There is Quint, whose rebellion frays into self-destruction; Slow, who struggles to become the world's first teenage father figure; Chimes, who fears losing his friends while picking up a 7-10 split; and Barb who escapes the conformity of Minnisapa only to find herself returning by dark of night. You will feel as if you've always lived in Minnisapa, Minnesota. And you will never underestimate nice kids from the Midwest again. "MERIT BADGES is hilarious, painful, lovely, nostalgic, generous and true. Kevin Fenton creates an unforgettable group of characters, in whose lives and thoughts and actions readers will often recognize themselves. This is a very funny, very moving, and wonderful book"—Julie Schumacher.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An impressive vitality, droll wit, and affecting nostalgia lift Fenton's first novel about four high school pals growing up together during the 1970s in the fictional town of Minnisapa, Minn.: Chimes Sanborn, ex–Boy Scout and ace bowler; Quint King, a "stoner" who tries to prove he can "letter in recreational drug use"; Barb Carimona, a sensitive music lover, who discovers their town was named after "a blot of ink" by an Indian "making a joke at the stupid white guy's expense"; and Slow Slocum, a jock from a dysfunctional family. Fenton tracks their lives up through their first postgraduate decade, which doesn't always turn out as they planned or hoped. Perhaps the gloomiest outcome is Barb's aborted stays in New York City and Chicago before her return home to work as a convenience store cashier. In a sweet romantic interlude, Slow proposes to his girlfriend while sitting atop a Ferris wheel. Eminently readable prose makes it easy to forgive an inconclusive ending. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936970032
Publisher:
New Issues Poetry & Prose, Western Michigan University
Publication date:
04/18/2011
Pages:
233
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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