A powerful and heartfelt coming-of-age novel that follows Martin Kelso as he grows up in 1980s New York and faces the magic of first experiences, as well as the heartbreak of hard-won life lessons.
Martin Kelso's comfortable world starts to change at the age of eleven. Girls get under his skin in ways he never noticed before. His cousin Evie, who used to be Marty's closest confidantethe one who taught him the right way to eat a pizza and how to catch tadpoleshas grown up into a stranger, mysterious and unpredictable. Marty and his best friends once inhabited fantasy worlds of their own making, full of cowboys and cops and robbers, where the heroes always won the day. But now, as neighborhood kids are attacked on their walk to school, they find themselves wanting to play a new game that better prepares them for real life.
As life changes quickly and Marty feels less secure with himself, the difference between games and reality, friend and foe, and right from wrong becomes much more difficult to distinguish. At the same time, this new world offers possibilities as exciting as they are frightening.
This poignant debut perfectly captures the intense emotion, humor, and earnestness of young adulthood as Marty, age eleven to seventeen, navigates a series of life-changing firsts: first kiss, first enemy, first loss, and, ultimately, his first awareness that the world is not as simple a place as he had once imagined.
|Publisher:||Grand Central Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
John Fried teaches creative writing at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson College's Program for Writers. His short fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, and Columbia: A Journal of Arts and Literature. Prior to teaching, he was a magazine writer and editor in New York, and his work appeared in various publications, including the New Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, New York, Time, and Real Simple.
Greg Baglia is a voice talent and audiobook narrator.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I like reading these type of coming of age novels because it's always a good reminder of both the good and bad parts of growing up. This book follows Martin Kelso living in 1980s New York City from the age of 11 thru his teenage years. This reads better more as a short story collection about the same character as from chapter to chapter there can be significant time jumps and so it kinda lacks a good flow. Granted it's been over 25 years since I read Judy Blume's Then Again, Maybe I Won't, but while reading this one especially in the early chapters I was kinda getting the same vibe. As a female, I find it satisfying puberty wasn't always fun for boys either. I personally enjoyed the earlier chapters of the book and the older Martin got, the less I really cared for what was going on in his life. Maybe some of that is due to the fact I have read quite a few male high school age fiction books and nothing in this one elevated it past just an average read. I guess I do tend to like junior high tales more just because it's pretty rare for me to read them. Overall, there isn't really anything significantly wrong with the book but it's not exactly memorable either. I won a free advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.