Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review: "The Life and Times of Homer Sincere, whose amazing adventures are documented by his true and trusted friend Rigby Canfield" by Nathaniel Lande

This book needed a whole lot more editing. The writing was old fashioned, uneven and stilted. There were repeated words all over the place. There were errors in the timeline -- the Beatle's I Want to Hold Your Hand was NOT released in the 1970's. There were grammar and punctuation errors. It tracked too much along the story line of Forrest Gump. Daisy is too much like Jenny. Horace is like Forrest, only smarter. Rigby is Lt. Dan, only he lives to tell the story.

All that gave me dozens of reasons to give up on this novel, but I just couldn't put it down: the plot was too compelling. Besides, it was an opportunity to relive my life as a Boomer kid in an America that was transforming from the Depression, WWII and Cold War America our parents knew to the post Cold War, Post Kennedy Assassination, post Vietnam world we live today. The Civil Rights Movement had a huge impact on millions of lives, but I'm not sure that race relations have really improved. The America we live in today is no more humane or peaceful than the one we Boomers were born into. It's just that different groups are in and out.

The book made me laugh and it made me cry. I loved all three of the main characters, despite their flaws. I rooted for Homer and Daisy. I wanted to despise Rigby, but could never manage to do it.

Despite its literary faults, this is a thought provoking and entertaining story about coming of age in America in the second half of the 20th Century. If our Gen Y kids would read it, they might have some new insights into the behavior of the 'rents. But, they won't read it. And that's okay.

Boomers should read it. With a box of tissues handy.

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