Edward's Reviews > Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 31, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: teen-town
Recommended for: Really Smart and Moody Teens and the Adults who wish they were teens like James.
Read in January, 2008

Peter Cameron’s Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is being touted by some critics as a modern Catcher In The Rye, which in, and of itself, is heady praise, but sells the book short. This book is a pitch perfect literary gem, with a comic precocious hero, James Sveck who is better read than most adults twice his age (this one included). The story spans the James’s summer before admission to Brown University, an event which he is loath to contemplate, and is distracting himself from by house hunting in the Midwest over the Internet. James’s mother, a woman of a certain age and pedigree with a failing Manhattan art gallery has returned from her third honeymoon, cut short due to her new husbands embezzlement of $3000 from her credit card for gambling and “personal entertainment expenses”. She has given James a job at the gallery answering phones, which gives him plenty of time for is voracious reading. James’s complete detachment from people his own age concerns his parents enough to put him into therapy. It is in these sessions where James duels linguistically with his psychiatrist, and his visits with his maternal grandmother, that gradually get James to come to terms with his fears and rejoin society at large. What I enjoyed most is the way Cameron challenged my intellect with James’s precise use of language, and yet was approachable as he pined for a gallery colleague who was way out of his league. This is a mature read about a mature young man.
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.