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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kids These Days: A Novel

Yeah. Right. Seriously, though, what's up with them? Kids These Days by Drew Perry.

Walter and Alice, after finding out they are pregnant and Walter getting laid off, move to Florida upon the promise of family close by. They have a place to live and Alice's brother-in-law, Mid, hires Walter on. Only it's not a real job--Walter is supposed to drive around and "check in" on things. Before long this seemingly ideal job starts raising eyebrows--IRS agents trying to shakedown Mid, a pot operation running out of the back of the pizza place, a stolen ice machine, and a teenage daughter running off with a 19 year old. In the midst of this, Walter is scared out of his mind to become a father.

I found myself having a very good time with this book. It is narrated in first person by Walter, and I found it strangely easy to relate to his fear of the upcoming change. It ran as an undercurrent to everything that was happening in this story, whether he was in the passenger seat of a yellow Camaro running from the cops or on a boat to an obscure island location to pick up his runaway niece. Everything informed Walter's fear of the unknown and very near future.

Then there's Mid. We have all met someone like Mid. He's a business man with his fingers in so many pots that it seems legitimate until you get a bit closer. You realize that he is just the same hustler you see on the corner only in a better shirt and nicer shoes. When the fire comes on, however, Mid bolts from the kitchen because he can't stand the heat. In true hustler fashion, I might say.

I found this book to be entertaining and enjoyable for my commuting time. It also helps to imagine being someplace warmer than here, as New York City in the winter is bordering on unbearable. I was able to sit back and live vicariously in this crazy Florida world that Perry has created that seems unbelievable until you look a little more closely and realize--you know these people.

Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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