"The Catcher in the Rye" for the fortysomethings. Not quite boomers, five years old during Woodstock, missed the sixties revolution and ended up being mellow in the seventies, partied in the eighties, floated in the nineties, then lost it all in the Great Recession. Welcome to the world of Rocket Man. Dale Hammer is stuck in the suburbs with too ...
"The Catcher in the Rye" for the fortysomethings. Not quite boomers, five years old during Woodstock, missed the sixties revolution and ended up being mellow in the seventies, partied in the eighties, floated in the nineties, then lost it all in the Great Recession. Welcome to the world of Rocket Man. Dale Hammer is stuck in the suburbs with too much house, too much car, too high taxes, and no way out. In one week he is accused of cutting down the sign to his subdivision, plagued with a father who has come to live over his garage, in danger of losing his home, on the hook for being Rocket Man of his son's Scout Troop, staring at the dissolution of his marriage, and trying to give his son a sense of independence. Not since The Graduate has a novel nailed the age we live in. Funny and poignant, you will laugh and cry as Dale looks for an American Dream in retreat.
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I was sort of looking forward to this one. I got the impression it was going to be somewhat funny. Well, apparently not to me. I read 100+ pages and decided to just let it go...My take on it for these first pages: one of the most negative pieces of fiction I've read in a LONG time. One of my biggest pet peeves, every time a child entered in the story he/she was described with a negative comment (I have no children of my own but found this technique quite taxing). I suppose the negativity is part of the point of the novel but I found the main character very whiney, unresponsible, and unaccountable to the life he arranged/chose for himself. Maybe it will get better, and maybe if I were a man in the same situation I might enjoy it, and maybe...well, there could be a lot of "maybes" for someone to enjoy this story but I'm not willing to find one. And although I am certainly no stranger to the F-bomb, Hazelgrove flings it around more freely than I can tolerate.
A big disappointment for me.
Sep 4, 2008
Rocket Man Funniest Book of the Election Year
Rocket Man is a very funny book. If you have ever lived in the suburbs or had a family then this book will make you howl. It is very well written. The author seems to have cut through to what the American Dream now requires and the sheer insanity of it. I thought of the movie Sideways or Richard Russo's Straightman. There are very poignant moments that give the book depth. I also thought Richard Fords Independence Day or Tom Poratta. A real page turner. Highly recommended.
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