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The Year of the Zinc Penny: A Novel
Now in paperback, The Year of the Zinc Penny is a contemporary classic. Trygve Soren Napoli is a ten-year-old just beginning to realize that he is alone in the world. Certain inescapable quirks tip him off: He cannot stop himself from repeating aloud each of his sentences, even after his stepfather tapes his mouth shut. Strange black hairs grow from the back of his hand. H ...more
Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by Seven Stories Press
(first published September 13th 1989)
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This short, comic-sad novel tells the first-person story of a ten-year-old boy living in wartime Los Angeles. The year is 1943. Men are off fighting the war; women are riveting planes in the city's aircraft factories. The protagonist, Trygve (nicknamed Monk), lives in a crowded apartment with his mother and her show-business aspiring boyfriend, her sister and her sister's Canadian husband, and his teenage son. Seen through the inexperienced but curious eyes of a boy, these characters form the ce ...more
A coming-of-age novel, narrated by a 10-year old, set in L.A., during WWII. Humorous, sad. I read one other novel by DeMarinis, which was quite different, A Clod of Wayward Marl, which is a funny, outrageous novel with a protagonist modeled on James Crumley. DeMarinis is a classic 70s-00s midlist literary writer, who is mostly and sadly out of print. He's 80 or thereabouts now but still plugging away. (I had a snack with him a few months ago and played some snooker with him, along with erstwhile ...more
A good book about an 11- to 12-year-old during WW2, his memories of what his life was like but his imagination was so much better than real life -- an ordinary boy who was a "hero" in so many ways -- flying heroic missions to save everyone -- not all good times for him in his ordinary life, tho -- a book that was well written!