My Favorite Warby Christopher John Farley
Among the many wars depicted in this satirical coming-of-age novel is the war the narrator wages against himself--a witty confession by a idealist facing a contradictory world; a giddy diatribe on the flaws on modern life and American society for the generation that goes by the misnomer "X." "Farley plays the '90s American Zeitgeist like a violin . . . (and) hits some literary home runs about a whole bunch of issues: politics, race, and sex."--Ishmael Reed.
The narrator, Thurgood Brinkman, is no radical himself; a buppie wannabe, this 29-year-old journalist feels himself a failure. Neither a distinguished member of "the talented tenth" nor a successful graduate of his elite school, Thurgood writes silly lifestyle pieces for a newspaper much like USA Today, where his editors demand the latest on oversized vegetables. His role model is one Sojourner Truth Zapader, a columnist for the Washington Post, to whom Thurgood sends weird e-mail. His work life a mess, Thurgood fails with women, too, from an anti-Semitic computer thief to a switchboard operator with four kids. Meanwhile, his own sister, Bethune, is dating a white rapper, whose gangsta lingo and style drive him to distraction. Thurgood's big break comes when Zapader offers him a job as her assistant covering the Gulf War. Stuck in a Saudi hotel, the two eventually elude their Army guards, get lost in Iraq, then are captured and held in a Baghdad hotel. Along the way, Zapader's rants about black nationalism and American imperialism draw none of Thurgood's withering commentary, which he saves for a general named Luther Pinpoint (a thinly veiled parody of Colin Powell) and other alleged race traitors. A subplot about a ghetto girl mentored by Thurgood is apparently meant to add to his education, but it's not clear exactly how.
The social and the existential clash in this self-satisfied book: grand-theme musings mix uneasily with excessive concerns about college friends, beginnings of careers, and suchmaking for pitfalls of a classic first-novel kind.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st Ecco Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 5.56(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.85(d)
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