Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel

by Peter Cameron
4.3 50

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Overview

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel by Peter Cameron

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adult world around him–including the expectation that he will go to college in the fall. He would prefer to move to an old house in a small town somewhere in the Midwest. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You takes place over a few broiling days in the summer of 2003 as James confides in his sympathetic grandmother, stymies his canny therapist, deplores his pretentious sister, and devises a fake online identity in order to pursue his crush on a much older coworker. Nothing turns out how he'd expected.

"Possibly one of the all-time great New York books, not to mention an archly comic gem" (Peter Gadol, LA Weekly), Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the insightful, powerfully moving story of a young man questioning his times, his family, his world, and himself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429927130
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 04/28/2009
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 531,079
File size: 191 KB
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

PETER CAMERON is the author of several novels, including Andorra and The Weekend. He lives in New York City.


Peter Cameron is the author of Andorra (FSG, 1997), The City of Your Final Destination (FSG, 2002), and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You (FSG, 2007). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.

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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book becuase I had read the Catcher and the Rye and thought it was great. The main character, James is exactly like a modern day Holden Caufeild. He has the same, screw life everyones an ass additude. I enjoyed this novel and I think anyone who like The catcher and the Rye would too.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
James Svek doesn't really fit in. He isn't interested in the same things as other eighteen-year-old guys, doesn't even like people his age, and even keeps his family at a distance.

Nobody could blame James for being detached from his family. His father is a bit self-absorbed and seems to feel obligated to spend the little time he does with James. James' mother owns an art gallery and has just returned early from her honeymoon. Her third marriage has ended almost as quickly as it began. And James' older sister, Gillian, is enmeshed in her own life, and an affair with a married professor. Even the family dog seems to feel superior to James. The only family member James admires is his grandmother who is supportive and understanding, even if she is a bit eccentric herself. The only other person that James admires is John, who works with him at his mother's gallery.

James is a contemplative young man whose views on the world around him aren't always congruent with popular opinion. He sees the world with a mix of ironic humor and disdain. Although he isn't an "angry" teenager, James has distanced himself from the people and things that surround him.

Now James' life is getting complicated. He has been accepted to Brown University but he has decided that he doesn't want to go to college. He would rather buy an old house in the Midwest and live in obscurity. His parents have sent him to a shrink, one who annoyingly answers every question with a question. He has just ruined what friendship he had with John. And why are his parents now asking him if he's gay?

SOMEDAY THIS PAIN WILL BE USEFUL TO YOU is a smart, funny story about the pain that comes with growing up and becoming your own person. James is a highly likeable character whose views on the world and himself are refreshing and insightful.

This is a book that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who reads it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
James is quite different then the usual withdrawn teen characters in many books, his elegant speech and reasoning will take you by suprise. I love how even though his sexuality comes up, it does not overshadow the main story which is that of a boy looking for his place in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a great one. Get it off the list of gay books, it is nothing that really has to do with that. The only reason it is on there to begin with is because the main character happens to be gay (not that it matters because we hear about this characteristic only a couple times). I think that James Sveck (the main character) is very interesting and inspiring. He has such a different way of looking at things, that makes this book interesting in itself. And although some things said are somewhat cliche, you get a good laugh as well as many more emotions out of this book. I finished it very quickly and it was well worth the read. Don't judge it by the cover or the name, its very unique and endearing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this novel well written. The many anecdotes of the narrator's explanation of things made this novel flow smoothly without the common 'rush' as people may find in other novels. This book was very motivational and made me think a lot about things I've never even thought to think of before.
SCHSReader1 More than 1 year ago
The book Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is about a boy named James who lives in New York. He has one sibling named Gillian and their parents are divorced, and their mom has a new husband that she is on a honeymoon with. In the book you don’t travel back in time or forward, it is placed in present day New York. James is an unique individual about to go to college. He is an unique person because of where he works (artwork gallery) and how he communicates with people his age. Gillian is a little older than her brother and their interests vary greatly, she enjoys being around people and going to see shows at the theater. James works at an art gallery and he works there with his mom and John. John has worked at the art gallery for many years before James and they get along pretty well most of the time. John has James do most things at the gallery because John is always in his office. James also runs many errands for John such as getting him food, greeting the little amount of people that do enter, and sorting mail stuffs. James, even though living in New York at the moment, has always thought about moving to someplace in the west like Arizona and Colorado. He thinks that it would an interesting place to live. The main thing that you will see James and his parents fighting about for some of the book is that James’s parents think he should go to college at Brown, but he doesn’t agree at all. He thinks that he should be moving west, he discusses this with his grandmother sometimes and he also likes to visit her quite often. I would recommend that people do read this book because it is an amazing book with interesting people, conflicts, and it is a great story. I would recommend this book to people who like a book that makes you want to keep reading and turning pages.
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This is such an amazing touching book! Must readd!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A novel that truly reached out and struck me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable. Great, relatable read.
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Blakebury More than 1 year ago
This coming of age tale was a quick, witty read. The protagonist is both likable and relatable and truly reminded me of what it was like to be a young, confused gay teen struggling to deal with life choices without focusing on the aspect of sexuality. A great reminder that dealing with sexuality doesn't necessarily meaning focusing on it, but instead can be but a thread within the fiber of growing up. Recommended for a light and quick read that will surely make you smile and even laugh out loud from time to time. _Blakebury
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