Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exit Here

Exit Here, by Jason Myers
ISBN: 9781416917489
A modern tale of excess and suburban alienation, written for teenagers but appropriate for readers of any age.
Travis is the handsome, spoiled teenage son of wealthy parents who's recently dropped out of school, and returned from a mysterious trip to Hawaii to his family home. Utterly without motivation or direction, he spends his time partying with his lowlife friends, snorting cocaine, looking at porn, and generally wasting all the advantages of his station in life.
His parents are concerned, but not too concerned: they're self-obsessed baby boomers so caught up in their own drama that they hardly seem to notice the deterioration taking place in Travis and his younger sister. Once incredibly handsome, he's beginning to look thin, pale, and worn out from months of hedonism. He's also obsessed with a girl, Laura, whom he says he loves but can't help feeling that there's something she's hiding from him. Something sinister.
Travis is still behaving like a boy, about to crash full speed into a man's problems. His constant drug use makes him incapable of achieving an erection at the tender age of nineteen, leaving him feeling numb and deeply unfulfilled. Soon his best friend, after a wild bender, crashes his car and winds up in jail after killing three people. Meanwhile his father insists: do something with your life, or find your own way in the world. Our poor, tragic anti-hero seems hopelessly caught up in a rut of apathy and self-destruction.
Exit Here has been widely panned by the critics, for reasons I can't understand. It's a dark and sensitive tale of squandered youth with a surprise ending, loaded with consequences which seem disproportianate to the folly that invited them: just like real life. Travis is obviously a lovable boy underneath all the resentment, the reader feels that he really could straighten up and fly right if he could just put the drugs down for five minutes and take his future seriously. In other words, he's a normal teenager.
The generation raised on gangster rap and Grand Theft Auto will find a voice in this tragic young man, if only he can survive to manhood. Depressing, perhaps, but well written, suspenseful, and relevant.


Silly Little Prince said...

yay. thanks. i like the sound of this book.

Pieter said...

Well, I am completely depressed now... and that's just after reading the blurb. This story is just one of millions exactly like it.

And thus endith the world....

Why the hell would I pay money to be made miserable?


Hansisgreat said...

Well, sometimes we want something that makes us sad, like "Terms of Endearment", and sometimes we want something that makes us angry, like rap music. Every story can't be a happy one. Life isn't like that. We all have galaxies within us.
Thanks for your comments, guys.