I recently had the great luck to run across This review, which compared this book to one of my all-time favorite movies: Dead Poet's Society. I was ovI recently had the great luck to run across This review, which compared this book to one of my all-time favorite movies: Dead Poet's Society. I was overjoyed. It's possible that I only made the connection because of Monica's review, but I would like to think that I would have recognized it anyway. I cannot tell you just how many times I've seen that movie and wallowed in my self-imposed angst. I love a movie or a book that can just make you feel, even if that feeling happens to be uncomfortably sad. Dr. Bird's Advice For Sad Poets is one of those books.
James is exactly the kind of kid I used to be. He's fond of poetry, hugs trees to make himself happy, and is so awkward around other people that it is almost painful. He can barely talk to the girl he likes, though in moments when he isn't ruled by anxiety he concocts ill-advised plans to be noticed by her. Even when they are talking and things are going well, he can't get over the fact that he just may not be...enough.
"My eyes are probably cloudy, sad, mean, boring. Not blue enough or brown enough or bright enough."
The writing is beautiful and poetic, which is to be expected in a story about a young poet who reads Whitman as much as James does. There is a lot of emotion in this book. I was cringing practically through the entire story, first in embarrassment for James and then in sympathy when the parents were introduced. The parents are pretty horrific. I was surprised James and his sister Jorie didn't end up even more messed-up than they were.
"She and I seem to be poisoned with sadness in our blood."
I loved the book. It was like discovering my favorite movie all over again. There was quite a bit of nostalgia involved, which was an odd feeling to have for a book I've never read before. But there it is...I'm the kind of person that can't separate a comparison once it's been made....more
*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley*
The author has said that he was hugely inspired by J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and even*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley*
The author has said that he was hugely inspired by J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and even though I am only a few pages into Salinger's book, I can definitely see it. There is a tough-guy stream of consciousness feel to this book that I really like. Franklin is a confusing character even before the bang on the head, and afterward his narration is a dark walk through madness.
I really liked this one. It kept me interested in the character because I was seeing the world through the eyes of someone who was insane. It was refreshing, in a vaguely creepy way. He's not a good person but I still felt a lot of empathy toward him.
I would recommend it to Salinger fans and people who love stories about madness. ...more