BAYA Librarian's Reviews > Tales of the Madman Underground

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes
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Tired of his affiliation with the madmen, a group of students bound together during the school year by their shared visits to the school psychologist, Karl Shoemaker starts his senior year by deploying operation “be f***ing normal.” Yet try as he may to break from the madmen and distance himself from their shared injustices, he is just too good of a friend. Told over six days in September 1973, tales of the MADMAN underground is an insightful, poignant and funny novel led by the engaging character of Karl. Popular he is not, but he is quirky, caring, and the hardest working high school senior you’ve ever met. Secondary characters, especially Karl’s alcoholic Mom, are equally well developed, and the dialog is concurrently heartbreaking and hilarious. At more than 500 pages, this novel will not fly off the shelves, but any reader looking for a likable, believable hero to root for should run, not walk, to get a copy of this book.   

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