Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cabin Pressure

Cabin Pressure, by Josh Wolk
$18.36 at Bn.com ISBN: 1401302602
** (pretty easy)
Sadly, this book is not yet available to buy. It's come across the desk of Hansisgreat.com in the form of an Advance Reader Copy (a special version of the book for people in the book business before it's sold in stores). If you're reading this after June 4, 2007 then this book is now available in stores and online. Otherwise, you'll have to wait a while. You can pre-order it, I guess.
I'm writing it now because I think this book is really good, and want to start plugging it. In fact, I'm using it to try out a new book review format. One book at a time instead of three. And I added pictures to make it interesting, like the glossy pages of a magazine.
Anyhoo... Josh is a guy in his early 30s (roughly my age) who is getting married in the Fall. Before that happens he decides to spend one last summer as a counselor at his boyhood summer camp. Did you go to summer camp, gentle reader? I was fortunate enough to go for two weeks each year of my boyhood! Once to Bible camp and once to Cub Scout/Boy Scout camp, I looked forward to them both. No hard feelings from this homo: it was a perfectly idyllic childhood.
I personally, therefore, couldn't help connecting with this guy: a man in his 30s looking for one last summer as a boy swimming in the lake and hanging out with his friends. He seems to have had a good time: it was a mostly carefree and fun time with all the appropriate male-bonding (Josh is entirely heterosexual, this is the kind of male bonding anyone can enjoy).
It's a very common theme: a man wishing to be a boy again. Told with such charming aplomb and with a charming cast of boys as the campers: naturally one or two try to get into a little trouble. Not too much, though. The chapters are read like anecdotes: he and the boys jump off a rope swing, some of them kinda afraid of heights. Lots of dick and fart jokes, what you'd expect from a group of fourteen-year-olds who are somewhat obnoxious but still too naive to be truly offensive. You're sure to be won over. A very reasonable 288 pages, so summer camp won't go on forever. Funny at times, with muted male emotion, and light-hearted suspense. Generation-X loses its youth with quiet dignity and a sad smile: we'll always remember the good times.

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