Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review: "The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp

Sutter Keely is that guy you know in high school - a little high on himself, parties all the time, never takes anything seriously.....  Here he is, nearing the end of his senior year and yet another girlfriend has dumped him.  Instead of examining himself and thinking on the issues he has in his past, he finds a girl that he thinks he can help come out of her shell, if you will.  Aimee is a quiet girl with a not-great home life, not much of a back bone but huge dreams.  And Sutter does help her to some extent...  but what about him?  Will he ever grow up?

I am so mixed up about this book.  Some (ok, maybe it was only one) teen(s) in my library told me that it was fantastic - the movie too.  I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie... so here we are.  While I did laugh a bit, I mean Sutter does have quite the personality and is pretty funny - I still really don't like him at all.  As much as he is all about "embracing the weird" and being in the now - he is so fully cocooned in these self-made walls of excuses that he isn't really in the now at all.  I did, however, really like the relationship he had with the ex-girlfriend post-break up.  That seemed real.  I think the feelings he has for Aimee are real too, or could be, if he is really being honest with himself.

Which brings me to the ending.  I don't want to give it away - but there really isn't an ending.  I mean the pages end...   but I felt like we were just getting started in Part 2 of the Sutterman Story.  Its not like it was a cliffhanger or that I feel like a sequel is justified here; its just that I felt like Sutter had a quasi-breakthrough, maybe, but I still don't trust him to be honest with himself about it for it to be of any good.  I'm mostly annoyed at this whole thing, and now I'm not even sure I want to see the movie.

*****
The Spectacular Now
by Tim Tharp
Ember, 2013.  First published 2008.
294 pages
Source:  Purchased New
*****


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3 comments:

Annette Mills said...

I didn't get this book. I didn't get the message. "High School drunks shouldn't corrupt quiet, shy nerds?" Not very powerful. I really couldn't believe it was a national book award finalist when I read it, and now I can't believe they made a movie. I don't want to see the movie, but I kind of want to know how it ended? Because that book...well...you know what I mean.

alibrarianslibrary said...

I'll be honest, I didn't read the book. But I watched the movie last month and it was....not that great. I didn't really get the story, it didn't feel complete to me, the character development just seemed kind of forced...and, yeah. Meeeehhhhhh.

theenglishist.com said...

I liked the movie (and haven't read the book yet). The movie is about addiction and the ways alcoholics lie to themselves and the people around them. It's also about the people who love them. So, I dug it.

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