Thumbsucker

Thumbsucker

A Novel

eBook - 1999
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This eighties-centric, Ritalin-fueled, pitch-perfect comic novel by a writer to watch brings energy and originality to the classic Midwestern coming-of-age story.Meet Justin Cobb, "the King Kong of oral obsessives" (as his dentist dubs him) and the most appealingly bright and screwed-up fictional adolescent since Holden Caulfield donned his hunter's cap. For years, no remedy--not orthodontia, not the escalating threats of his father, Mike, a washed-out linebacker turned sporting goods entrepreneur, not the noxious cayenne pepper-based Suk-No-Mor--can cure Justin's thumbsucking habit.Then a course of hypnosis seemingly does the trick, but true to the conservation of neurotic energy, the problem doesn't so much disappear as relocate. Sex, substance abuse, speech team, fly-fishing, honest work, even Mormonism--Justin throws himself into each pursuit with a hyperactive energy that even his daily Ritalin dose does little to blunt.Each time, however, he discovers that there is no escaping the unruly imperatives of his self and the confines of his deeply eccentric family. The only "cure" for the adolescent condition is time and distance.Always funny, sometimes hilariously so, occasionally poignant, and even disturbing, deeply wise on the vexed subject of fathers and sons, Walter Kirn's Thumbsucker is an utterly fresh and all-American take on the painful process of growing up.
Publisher: New York : Broadway Books, c1999.
ISBN: 9780307829900
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
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h
horthhill
Jul 10, 2011

I loved Walter Kirn's "Thumbsucker". I've meant to read this for years. The wait was worth it.

In essence, the novel is a boy's coming of age story. Ned Vizzini's "Be More Chill" (2004) and Stephen Chbosky's "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (1999) are similar: boy with a literary bent grows up to be a man who writes a novel about a boy with a literary bent. So, there is a bit of deja-vu, but it is of the well-written and well-told story type of deja-vu so that you don't mind going once around once again.

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