Friday, March 26, 2010

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger

A recommendation from my very bookie young(fourteen going on forty) friend, we will call her Mademoiselle M. She is my neighbor and my best book recommender. This girl reads like a fiend, is exceptionally articulate, will spear a book, movie or even you with her attitude and then turn and skip from the room. And you will be so lucky someday to read her writing, dark stories about alcoholic fathers and cross dressing big brothers and suicide car drives from cliffs. Expect to hear more from her.

So this book was a fav of hers. Described as a romantic comedy, it is a large book to hold in your hand, but told in the form of letters to famous people and more intimate ones (dead mothers) and through IMs and casting calls and other show type signage, it moves quickly with the eyes. And it involves two or three romances. Lots of references to baseball, Boston and Mary Poppins. It was fun to read (although it took me forever, totally not its fault). The characters were great. First off was Augie, vulnerably portrayed knowing everyone's needs instantaneously but not knowing himself at all. Secondly was TC, also wonderful at the get go, but totally disarming by the end. and Hucky, a six year old who comes on the scene late, and a character to be reckoned with. But the reason the book is so excellent is, it is a modern day fairy tale. Mother dying, deaf child in the orphanage, son and best friend gay and falling in love and everything that happens is just as it should be. Not only because you want the best for these lovely characters but also because it is almost so over-the-top and fairytale like that it is unexpected. A book where all needs get met and the right people end up with their right counterparts should be boring, right? It is exactly the opposite, it is so surprising and pleasant precisely because fairy tales are pleasing. And that taste of camp? well it doesn't hurt at all.
As Always (so there!)