?

Log in

 
 
25 May 2006 @ 11:07 pm
Adam Rapp’s UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG (5 stars)  

Ignore the fact that others have already mentioned this, and let me be the first to compare Adam Rapp’s novel UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG to J.D. Salinger’s CATCHER IN THE RYE. Of course, their characters Steve Nugent and Holden Caulfield are different, but they’re alike in the way HoHo’s know they’re related to Ding Dongs.

 

Critics have called Steve names like “marginalized” and “outcast,” but if that’s Steve, then that’s Holden as well. Which it’s not. I’d like to see those critics try to deal with the death of their mother, finally watching cancer finish its job in her upstairs bedroom. I want to see them overcome a group of delinquent friends trying to deal drugs and rob the Piggly Wiggly market. I want to see them discover their brother hanging by a necktie down in the basement. How would they handle it and would that make them “marginalized”?

 

Here’s the thing –– Steve is just a Gray Grouper at Burnstone Grove filling his journal with the past to hopefully make sense of the present. He’s in love with Silent Starla, a Blue Grouper who isn’t silent like everyone says. He’s just a sixteen year old trying to recover from a life where “you have to deal with stuff on your own and that’s all there is to it.” It’s this search that leads him to contemplate the universe and drugs, religion and the purpose of life, and “that particular part of the morning ‘between the wolf and the dog’ when the sky is so deep blue and spooky or whatever that you can’t tell what’s what.”

 

That’s where Steve is. It’s the reason he’s at Burnstone Grove instead of the Gifted School he ran away from. And it’s the reason the unique voice in his mind will howl in your brain, bringing you to laughter, and God help you, tears.



If this book review was helpful, please vote for it at Amazon.
 
 
 
dancewriteredenzdream on May 26th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC)
Another great js review...this one sounds a bit like a downer, so I may have to pass for the time being. At least until winter comes, and I can hole up in the gloom with it.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on May 26th, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)
It is a bit of a downer, but in a gloomy-hopeful sort of way. Maybe waiting for winter's the way to go.
dancewriteredenzdream on May 26th, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
In the meantime, I won't believe that's you with the chair unless I see another angle of the shot...
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on May 26th, 2006 08:23 pm (UTC)
Okay fine. *scouring picture folder*
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on May 26th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
How bout that. I added it to the post. Seeing is believing.
Newport2Newportnewport2newport on May 26th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
"in the way Ho-Ho's and Ding-dongs are related"...mmm, great analogy.

I enjoy your reviews, Jonathan. They're real and certainly not stilted; and always, I see your unique voice coming through.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on May 26th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
Glad you like them. I hope they help someone somewhere find a good book sometime. (e.g. Katherine)
dancewriteredenzdream on May 26th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
Mindless pic posting's more fun...how HELarious! That really IS you! But...aren't you two too old to be behaving like that????????????
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on May 26th, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
When one's inner teen dies...I mean, it was just trash...Trash, I say!

Should I post pictures of us machete fighting in his backyard? Nah.
Newport2Newport: Weapon of Choicenewport2newport on May 27th, 2006 02:47 am (UTC)
Kung-fu fighting, yes! Show us that!