Melody's Reviews > The Punk Ethic

The Punk Ethic by Timothy Decker
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Mar 30, 12

Read on March 30, 2012

I picked this up with anticipation, hope and at least a little trepidation. Decker has made some incredible, unclassifiable picture books and this lightly illustrated novel represents no little departure from the formula I have loved so much.

I needn't have worried. In the young protagonist Martin, Decker delivers a real, complex and prickly hero. A kid I want to bring home so he can ignore me while I make him a sandwich and tell him to pick up his room. And then he can ignore me and play his guitar with the amp turned all the way up. Oh, wait, I have one kind of like that already. Never mind.

Martin's 17, and he's flailing around a little. He knows some things for sure- maybe more than the average 17-year-old does, but he's lost in more ways than he's found. He stumbles across some pretty wonderful people in the month this book covers, and I think at the end we have seen him grow and change in ways that matter. In ways that may even help him change the world.

I adored Holly, and thought that the awkward miscommunications and dancing back and forth was true-to-life. It made me cringe to read, it was so authentic.

The illustrations, of course, are brilliant. It's what Decker does best. There's a spareness combined with richness that's hard to articulate, but one can almost step into those pen and inks.

Highly recommended.
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message 1: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Vegan I'm excited. Another Timothy Decker book!


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