I received this book from the author himself...Phil Stern. Summary sounded interesting...then I saw the cover. Anyone who reads my blog knows what a cover whore I am....Now once you read the book you'll understand the cover...but first impressions made me say, " What in the HELL???"...
I know....I know....it's not what you think Ladies...it's not.
The book is about a group of friends who met in College...this is the 90's generation. In fact..these folks are exactly my age now, and back then. The main character Steve wants to write a ,"Big Chill" of the 90's so to speak. He contacts all the folks via phone and email and ask them to document their stories. It's interesting as they never get together as adults but they all document their own take on how life was.
The whole story leads up to ,"That night"...through 75% of the book, I was coming up with what ,"That night" would unfold...murder? Affairs?? Suicide?? WHAT?? It is clear that whatever happened ended the groups friendships completely.
The book was well written, and held my attention. No aliens, sparkly vampires (gross- again- gross)...furry night creatures or secret agents. The book gave each characters story and view regarding the main event that ended everything. I loved how the description from each character was perceived differently from the next. Example. First character would say something like, " I came in and said hello". Then the next character's summary would describe the first character as walking in the house and saying, " He came in and said what the F are you doing here!???". Shows every one's perception and you just can't figure out whose is correct.
After I finished book at 6 this morning, yep, you read that right, I was mad.
First of all, I can give you a name of folks I knew that could fit every character in this book. I saw myself in there too- I won't tell who...but I did. I was mad at my generation. Really, what have we done?? I don't feel like we were anything grand. I feel like we were the group that was told continuously , do whatever you have to be happy, do it. Bored with your spouse? Get out Job is boring? Quit. You deserve to be happy.
Life is messy ,confusing and damn boring. We are kids of the Baby Boomer generation (again, if I have to hear one more Baby Boomer praise themselves for this I may vomit). The Baby Boomers, who took out leases on their cars, bought cloths and houses they could never afford all in the sake of screaming, "LOOK AT ME!! I can keep up with the Jones's!"...harsh? Yeah...true? Definitely. We were the initial latch key kids.
I think our gen x crowd grew up to be the ,"what now?? " generation.
Now, getting back to why I was mad after this book. During the days when I had these friends I thought it was good. I probably have romanticized the friendships over the last 20 yrs or so. However, do I see these people? Nope. Do I miss them?? Nope. This book brought back why. I don't miss the cattiness of the girls, the stupidity of the boys and the constant drama that was created basically because at that age we all felt so entitled. It's embarrassing to think back to that point..did I have fun?? Well, yes..but not all the time.
There is a character who had the most pathetic catholic parents. I was laughing out loud!! I went to catholic school- 10 yrs. My Dad was raised catholic, denied Catholicism but as all recovering catholics..the fear was always there. My Mom- new age, gravitated to what ever religion told her what she wanted to hear . I didn't have the catholic pressure at home...but at school..that was another thing. Now, I did have friends who had these parents...names not mentioned, but one Madonna music cassette (infants- look it up) Like a Virgin- got tossed in the trash compactor by God fearing parent in 7th grade....So I felt the character's frustration and the need to rebel against it.
None the less, this was a great book. I am anxious to hear what other's think.