Kids These Days

Drew Perry. Algonquin, $14.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61620-171-5
Perry’s uneven second novel (This Is Just Exactly Like You) plods aimlessly through a Florida landscape littered with narcissistic families whose lives are circling the drain. Walter and Alice’s marriage is on the ropes—he’s unemployed, she’s pregnant, both are unsure that they want the baby. They’ve moved to Florida to start over in the shadow of Alice’s sister, Carolyn, and her crooked husband, Mid, who is a master of the con, convincing Walter to work a shady job. Walter and Alice are suspicious of everything Mid says and does, but they are too weak to “just say no.” When Mid is arrested for drug offenses and tax evasion, the cops—agents Friendly and Helpful—lean on him to become a police informer, and Mid’s family life melts down in a puddle of self-pity, self-denial, and furious anger. Walter, Alice, Carolyn, and Mid make unbelievable, bad decisions, one after another, and they spend the rest of the time bickering. Surprisingly, Perry fails to resolve any of the conflicts, leaving the reader to wonder what just happened. The adults and kids in this disappointing story are corny caricatures of sad, shallow people. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 01/01/2014
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-61620-348-1
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