Amanda Westmont's Reviews > Plan B

Plan B by Jonathan Tropper
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's review
Jan 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2010
Read in January, 2010

This is my third Tropper novel, but it was his first and it definitely reads that way. The writing was still great - he writes excellent, hilarious characters - but there was a bit of adjective abuse, particularly in the first chapter (like this horrifically over-written sentence: "The restaurant's dim lighting lent a jaundiced pallor to his already ashen complexion, making him appear gaunt and sickly.") and I'm not really much of a fan of protagonists who are also authors.

Also - it wasn't in present tense! Which was disappointing since apparently I love books written in first person present.

But I still managed to enjoy the book quite a bit. Enough to read it in one sitting!

Here are some highlights (which, for the record, were a HUGE pain in the ass since this was a library book and I had to, you know, stop reading, get a pen and a piece of paper and, like, KEEP TRACK OF IT and shit. It's so much easier just to click the highlight button on my Kindle!)

"It took me a few years to realize that nothing was happening for me. Nothing doesn't happen all at once." (Don't know why but that really struck me as true.)

"On my way home from work that day I actually spent sixty-five bucks on a full-sized Darth Vader mask, the kind that goes completely over your head. There was no rational reason for buying it. I saw it in the window of the Star Magic Shop and just walked in and bought it. It had that delicious smell of new plastic, the smell of childhood." (The protagonist is a huge star wars geek, which just made me love him that much more.)

"There was something undeniably comforting about [Baywatch:], especially at one in the morning when the emptiness of your life was keeping you awake. Endless sunny days, beautiful women, so accessible in their tight red bathing suits, clearly defined moral situations, weekly heroics and long romantic walks on the beach set to eighties-style love songs. Everything life wasn't. Baywatch was how your eyes massaged your brain." (So THAT's why men watch it.)

" never occurred to me that she could be experiencing the same combination of disconnection and emptiness closing in on her that I'd been feeling. The sense that time was switching from a jog to a sprint and we weren't even in the race. My heart went out to her, even while my petty misery retroactively welcomed her company. Until you found your way out of the woods, it was reassuring to find other people lost in them with you."

This might not have been Tropper's best work, but I'm only judging him against his own better work. This is still a damn good book by my standards.
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