Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter

Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter

by Michael J. White
4.5 9


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Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter by Michael J. White

A smart, darkly funny, yet poignant debut novel about coming of age without coming undone.

Seventeen-year-old George Flynn-an all-around decent guy-has just moved with his family to Des Moines, a place where he knows no one and is pretty much nobody. Despite this inauspicious start to his junior year, he soon finds his niche, falling in with the unique, enchant­ing Schell sisters. Emily, an aspiring actress and free spirit, becomes the object of George's mostly unrequited yearnings. But it's Katie, with her quirks, her scathing deadpan humor, and her brave battle with multiple sclerosis, who really gets George hooked on the Schells. When an out- of-the-blue trag­edy strikes, upsetting the delicate balance of all their lives, George must figure out a way to help Emily in order to save himself.

Told with both razor-sharp wit and deep empathy from George's later adult perspective, this is a moving, memorable debut novel about friendship and first love-about dealing with grief and trying to grow up without losing yourself along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399155901
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 02/04/2010
Pages: 342
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Michael J. White was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, though he did spend a few formative years in Des Moines. He is a Columbia MFA graduate and now lives in Brooklyn.

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Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Elijian_11120707 More than 1 year ago
Michael White's novel is a wonderful story about two people who are coming of age, dealing with their feelings for life, their feelings for each other, and at the same time discovering how they can handle a crisis and the subsequent fallout from it. As you read this story you may find yourself thinking back to the days of your first love, the things you did and the adventures you traveled. What you'll also discover is that when you look back on this how much you have evolved as you came into age and how it shaped your young adulthood - how your early years shape you as a person. This book, with all it's whit, charm, laughter and tears, will undoubtedly be a fond addition to the list of books you've read. I look at it in my library and smile.
annabelle5346 More than 1 year ago
Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter is a witty, coming-of-age sort of tale that dances a blurry line between tragedy and romance. In his debut, White employs an honest, straight-forward styled prose, coupled with with real life characters and poignant everyday observations, giving the novel a vaguely visceral quality that hits home. I have to say my opinion is probably more than a little swayed by the fact that I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa, where the story is set. I went to Lyons Park in the summers, and saw movies at Billy Joe's Picture Show, and Saylorville Lake was practically in my backyard, so the experiences related to us were intensely familiar to me, and brought back many lovely childhood memories. I also empathize with some of the more subtle sociological trends of the Middle-American population Whites's main character George spoke of, such as the "the daily gossip-mongering and passive-aggressive nitpicking that in my experience thrive on such hosts as midsize Midwestern cities with inextricable ties to their state's agricultural economy." I found this a more than accurate description of behavior I had witnessed all my life, but could never really put my finger on. The narrative is that of a teenage boy, George, who has just moved to a bigger city, and instantly falls for a budding actress at his new school by the name of Emily Schell. He's lucky enough to have his affection returned but learns that Emily comes sort of as a packaged deal with her sister, Katie, who has a debilitating disease. As the three become a merry band of mischievous adolescents, a triangle begins to form when Katie develops a crush on George. Just as things start to get interesting, tragedy strikes, and their world is turned upside-down. Now George struggles to hold on to Emily as the two work separately to work through their grief and attempt to put their lives back together as best they can without the missing pieces. I thought this was an excellent first book, and found it deeply moving, laugh-out-loud hysterical, and hit-the-nail-on-the-head clever all at the same time. I'd recommend it to anyone with good taste.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookLoverCT More than 1 year ago
I agree with the voices of each of the reviewer's that are featured on the cover of the novel. This book will be one that I will read over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mkt727 More than 1 year ago
Weeping Underwater Looks a Lot Like Laughter is one of those books you want to be a part of. I wished as I was reading it that I could be a character in the story. Even though it's told in the voice of a teenage boy, any reader could relate to what he goes through...and you'll really hope he triumphs in the end. First love, for all of the main characters, is made all the more alluring by the circumstances that interfere. George and the Schell sisters poignantly lean on and help each other through heartache, joy, and loss in this story you won't want to end.
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