Joe Speedboat

Tommy Wieringa, Author, Sam Garrett, Translator , trans. from the Dutch by Sam Garrett. Grove/Black Cat $14.95 (319p) ISBN 978-0-8021-7072-9

The first novel by prize-winning Dutch author Wieringa to be translated into English is a brilliant coming-of-age story with an outlandish twist: Frankie, the narrator, is paralyzed but for his right arm and unable to speak after a farming accident. But when wild child Joe Speedboat shows up in Frankie’s sleepy town, he gives Frankie a new lease on life. Together the boys navigate young adulthood, with crippled Frankie chronicling Joe’s adventures. Joe blows up a toilet at their school. He builds an airplane and takes Frankie along for the ride. Joe trains Frankie to become an arm wrestler with his one good arm, and Frankie makes a name for himself as a fierce competitor. It comes as no surprise that Frankie and Joe love the same girl, and while Joe is away on a quest to find his mother’s missing boyfriend, she shows Frankie that, in her own way, she loves them both. There are more coming-of-age novels than dikes in Holland, but this wonderfully weird novel is not one to miss. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-1-84627-103-8
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