Tuesday, December 11, 2007

July, July

Killian Read July, July (Tim O'Brien). A group of college friends (Class of '69) meet up at a class reunion for a long weekend of reminiscing and recriminations. Whether they achieved their dreams and remained true to their Sixties' ideals or not, all are uncertain, disappointed, and haunted (literally) by false hope, roads not taken, and ghosts of their own making. (One character is even named "Spook.") The novel takes few chances and is held back by stock characters such as fat and homely class clowns and unfilled suburban wives and mothers, not to mention deep dark secrets that turn out not to be so deep or dark after all. On the other hand, O'Brien writes well -- beautifully, at times -- of the folly of relying on other people to fulfill one's hopes and dreams. 

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