cover image I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It

A.S. King. Little, Brown, $18 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-33409-9

If a story about two teens escaping from testing week in an invisible helicopter at the direction of a naked sculptor who hides in a bush sounds like something spun from a bad acid trip, this may not be the novel for you. But those who already feel that high school is an absurdist farce designed to make everyone crack under the pressure of AP exams, bomb threats, intruder drills, and peer judgment will easily relate to King’s (Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future) latest. Obsessed with biology, Stanzi is in love with Gustav, constructor of the invisible helicopter. Her best friend China’s response to personal trauma has been to swallow herself: “I just opened my mouth one day and wrapped it around my ears and the rest of me.” Lansdale is a pathological liar whose hair grows by feet every time she tells another whopper. All the novel’s action can be read as metaphor for modern ills. These are teens crying for help with no one, least of all their parents, listening. It’s bizarre, compelling, and not like anything else. Ages 15–up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Sept.)