Too Cool

Duff Brenna, Author
Duff Brenna, Author Nan A. Talese $22.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-48971-3
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 264 pages - 978-0-452-28116-5
Paperback - 196 pages - 978-0-9913281-1-6
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Again displaying the versatility evident in his warmly received The Book of Mamie and The Holy Book of the Beard, Brenna has created a poignant portrait of an antisocial youth bent on violence and self destruction. Despite his undeniable intelligence and sensitivity, there may be no saving 16-year-old Elbert Earl ""Triple E"" Evans from a life of escalating delinquency and danger. Chronciling a life-and-death car chase with police through a Colorado blizzard, Brenna takes readers on a captivating tour through the memories and dreams of Triple E as he reflects--with little regret--on the (mostly) bad things he has done. Having broken out of reform school in the stolen car of a pretty psychologist who made him her pet project, Triple E picks up his friend and criminal cohort, Tom Patch, his cousin Ava (who is sweet on Tom) and his girlfriend, Jeanne Windriver. His deep, self-sacrificing love for Jeanne is one of many qualities that give Triple E a complexity beyond the anarchic destructiveness of his actions. Stuck with Jeanne in the deep snow of a remote mountain road, Triple E reflects--sometimes involuntarily--on everything that brought him to this point as he marshals his remaining strength in an effort to save her life. Pacing his narrative with the suspense of a thriller, Brenna writes grippingly and with uncanny insight into the mind and heart of this violent, unforgettable character who, despite his youth and the untapped good within him, is likely irredeemable. (July)
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