"Sooner or later, it will happen. So prepare yourself. Be ready not to be ready." Benjamin Benjamin was at rock bottom. Homeless and down to his last penny, enrolling on a short night course in the fundamentals of care-giving seemed the smart thing to do. But nothing in the manual could have prepared Ben for Trevor, a sarcastic teenager stuck ...
"Sooner or later, it will happen. So prepare yourself. Be ready not to be ready." Benjamin Benjamin was at rock bottom. Homeless and down to his last penny, enrolling on a short night course in the fundamentals of care-giving seemed the smart thing to do. But nothing in the manual could have prepared Ben for Trevor, a sarcastic teenager stuck in a wheelchair. And that's assuming Ben read the manual properly in the first place...The first rule of care-giving is Be Professional. So Ben probably shouldn't tell Trevor why his wife Janet is divorcing him. He probably shouldn't mention that he contemplated suicide last night either. The second rule of care-giving is Don't Get Emotionally Involved. So Ben definitely shouldn't pack Trevor into the back of a campervan and drive hundreds of miles through the desert so he can patch things up with his father. Especially when Trevor's mother has absolutely forbidden it. Especially when an epic road trip like this could go so disastrously, gloriously wrong...Funny and tragic, this is the story of an unlikely friendship and a man and a boy's journey back to life.
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-10-29 To avoid facing his past, Benjamin Benjamin sets to helping others as a caregiver. After taking a class called the Fundamentals of Caregiving at a local church, his first job lands him with Trevor, a 19-year-old with advanced muscular dystrophy who has disengaged from the world. But a road trip and a series of exploits find the two men returning to worlds they thought were lost. Narrator Jeff Woodman's portrayal of Benjamin captures his contradicting self-awareness and self-deceit as well as his vulnerabilities. But his rendition of Trevor's voice is the most impressive. Woodman avoids the pitfall of trying to portray the character's disability, instead using a minimalist approach that captures Trevor's essence. Additionally, Woodman lends the supporting cast distinct, vibrant voices and provides narration that will keep listeners engaged until the very end. An Algonquin hardcover. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-06-11 Benjamin Benjamin, the narrator of Evison's tragicomic third novel (after West of Here), describes himself as an "unemployed stay-at-home schlub whose wife gives him an allowance." He's actually even more pathetic, which is one of the problems with this picaresque: at 39, getting divorced, Benjamin is haunted by an immense unspecified loss and eking out a living as a caregiver to teenage Trevor, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. He's good at the job, his first after a long stint as a full-time dad. He and Trevor construct a map pinpointing odd Americana ("Mystery houses, vortexes, crop circles, and other unexplained phenomenon"), more of an imaginary itinerary, given Trevor's condition; Ben and Trevor do finally end up on the road, however, allowing Evison to demonstrate his considerable comic gifts, despite the grimness of the situation. Flashbacks reveal Ben's past (a wife; two kids) and Evison builds a palpable sense of doom, but Ben's heartbreaking personal tragedy is revealed too late to make a meaningful impact. Still, Evison is a skilled, perceptive writer: one girl Ben and Trevor encounter en route notices them "with the expert dispassion of the teenage misfit." 50,000 first printing, 5-city author tour. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Aug. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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