Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Book Review

The Blacking Factory & Pennsylvania GothicThe Blacking Factory & Pennsylvania Gothic by Wilfrid Sheed

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Buzz off now; be a nice little intellectual disaster area, won't you?"

"While Mrs. Bannister was on hand, his father had been one of those fixed middle-aged men with a closetful of blue and brown suits and a repertoire of blue and brown jokes."

verb: undergo the formation of pus; fester.
synonyms: discharge, run, weep,become septic

"Other buses had come up behind, teeming, suppurating with boys."

I loved The Blacking Factory. It's up there with the best coming of age stories. It brought to mind Stephen King's wonderful The Body(and its excellent movie Stand By Me), Willa Cather's The Magic Bluff, and even J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, although it's mostly more humorous and optimistic. Sheed writes with a satiric eye for society's rituals and a strong affection for his teenage hero. I wish he'd written about my 15th year. He would have made it much more enjoyable.

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