JULY, JULY: A Novel

Tim O'Brien, Author , read by Jay O. Sanders. Houghton Mifflin Audio $33 (0p) ISBN 978-0-618-25812-3

Like The Big Chill, National Book Award winner O'Brien's latest novel is about a group of college students from the radical days of the late 1960s. Assembled years later, the friends and acquaintances go through the usual motions of reminiscing, regretting, lusting, laughing and crying. Unlike the gang from that 1983 movie, though, this group is not brought together to mourn the death of a mutual friend but rather a 30-year class reunion. Yet they're still mourning, lamenting their lost youth, vibrancy, ideals, looks and health. Among the ruins, however, they find old friends, common struggles and rekindled passions. Although this is more a group of interwoven short stories or character studies than a traditional novel, O'Brien (The Things They Carried) fully fleshes out each character with aplomb. Actor and experienced audiobook reader Sanders offers a smooth and knowing delivery. His cynical, dry, yet humorous tone perfectly matches O'Brien's prose. The surface of this comic tale seems jaded and despairing, but sympathy, camaraderie, solidarity and love run deeply throughout. Simultaneous release with the Houghton Mifflin hardcover (Forecasts, July 1). (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 01/06/2003
Release date: 10/01/2002
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-618-03969-2
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