The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Spectacular Now"From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Sutter Keely, a high school senior, is determined to live in the moment. He eschews planning for the future, intent on letting the good times roll. Sutter's been downing six packs since seventh grade and is rarely without his flask of Seagram's. Despite the heavy drinking and some raunchy sex talk, he is initially a likable character with a fresh and funny voice, but his affability wanes quickly and that voice just doesn't ring true. He meets Aimee when he passes out on her front yard. Sutter isn't really interested at first and only dates her because he considers her a project, someone he can help become less of a social outcast. Along the way, he begins to come off as condescending and egotistical and his sarcasm isn't as comic. It's a well-written book told in first person, but the narration seems much too sophisticated to be believable. He uses phrases like, "I am…sore at heart" and utters phrases like, "the room brimmed with padded chairs." Some of the plot is also disconcerting. As the result of Sutter's drunk driving, Aimee is struck by a car on a highway and suffers only a broken arm. The story ends with Sutter drinking in a bar, assured he's a hero after dumping Aimee, and rejoicing about feeling nothing.—Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School Library, Lancaster, PA  Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."
My Thoughts:

I love male MC narrated stories, there's just not enough of them IMO. Sutter is a party boy, and he practically leaps off the page. The story itself is a contemp, and it deals with some very real situation that teens deal with on a daily basis. It's almost like your involved in some juicy high school gossip. The author, Tim Tharp, has done an awesome job of getting inside the mind of a teenage guy. Any of my writing peeps looking for a well done male POV, check this one out.


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