by Tom Perotta "My mother was a den mother, but she wasn't fanatical about it..."
From Publishers Weekly-
Amid the current glut of '70s nostalgia, Perrotta has fashioned a moving cycle of stories that looks past the era's celebrated kitsch to still relevant social and cultural issues and the timeless mysteries of growing up. In 10 tales covering a period from the fall of 1969 to the summer of 1980, he follows the revelations of his narrator, Buddy, from his days as an eight-year-old Cub Scout through his return home from the first year of college. Set in the small New Jersey town of Darwin, these seamless, understated narratives find--in boyhood activities as ordinary as playing sports, riding a bike, taking driver's ed or going to the prom--insights into loneliness, societal violence, sexual identity, racism, mortality and much more. Perrotta eschews sentimentality and overt philosophizing, crafting in Buddy's voice a sensitivity to pregnant moments that remain unexplained and a knack for delicate, unobtrusive metaphor. Forgoing the easy irony of disco and vintage TV, he delivers a convincing portrait of a time of life, illuminating all the profound cruelty and tenderness of adolescence.
book rating: 6 out of 10.