Mama's Boy

Rick Demarinis, Seven Stories, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-58322-911-8
Gus Reppo, the nice guy hero of Demarinis's slight latest, joined the Air Force "to get away from his doting parents but they followed him." As it happens, this isn't a good move for anyone. Though Gus's father tries to push him into the family business of dentistry, Gus ends up a radio repairman on a base in remotest Montana, where there is little to do but get in trouble. While Gus is nothing if not decent, he still can't get things quite right; "You just seem like the kind of guy that attracts trouble. You don't look for it, but it finds you anyway," a girl tells Gus before they drive her car out onto a frozen lake just for yuks. Indeed, trouble finds Gus repeatedly, but there's never a sense that it affects him all that much. Demarinis (The Year of the Zinc Penny) wrangles an endearing cast into a straightforward story of a man whose life falls apart around him, but the narrative, with all of its inconsequential developments, lacks urgency. It's competently written, but, like Gus, it falls into trouble despite pure intentions. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/15/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 185 pages - 978-1-60980-146-5
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