Ironman

Chris Crutcher, Author
Chris Crutcher, Author Greenwillow Books $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-688-13503-4
Reviewed on: 04/17/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 240 pages - 978-0-440-21971-2
Prebound-Other - 228 pages - 978-0-606-09477-1
Prebound-Other - 280 pages - 978-0-606-32640-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-4413-1
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7857-8982-6
Paperback - 279 pages - 978-0-06-059840-2
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-196842-6
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Crutcher reassembles some of the character types he used to riveting effect in his stellar Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes: a teenage misfit narrator enduring grueling athletic training; a tough heroine with a tragic past; a right-wing authoritarian heavy; enlightened teachers; and a sadistic father. At its best, the narrative crackles along in the author's inimitable style. Beauregard Brewster, a would-be Ironman triathlete, chronicles the events that ensue after he insults an oppressive teacher and is forced to take an anger-management class with other troubled students. But Crutcher's message sometimes overwhelms the cast and the story line. Beau's stern father, who has to be right at all costs-even if it means stacking the deck against his son-is one of the few fully fleshed-out characters. Many are either saintly multiculturalists (Beau's gay swimming coach, earlier met in Stotan; ``Mr. Nak'' the Japanese cowboy anger-management teacher; the black female high school principal) or, in the case of the offensive teacher, outright villains. In spite of these flaws, Crutcher achieves many memorable moments-exchanges between the students in the anger-management class, for example, are idealized but often deeply moving. Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
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