Friday, October 10, 2008

Crossing California

Quickie Recap: It's Chicago, 1979-1981. Some of the kids live on the right side of California Ave, some of them live on the wrong side of it. But they're all trying to get by, trying to navigate the world as it passes them by, trying to claim some piece of it for themselves.

Quickie Review: Adults, teenagers, and children all share narration responsibilities in this novel, which gives the story an interesting pace and an ever-changing perspective. It's the kind of book that, for the first half, makes you wish you could have been born in a different time and place, and for the second half pokes holes in the illusions created. So, it's not really re-hashing the glory days: it's about the election, the hostage crisis, the drug use, the sexuality. It keeps surprisingly well-focused, and is unrelenting in showing how useless and irrelevant authority (parents, school, government) had become and how a narcissistic generation was born.

Quickie Recommendation: Vigorous, acerbic, and good. But not wholesome.

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