...while looking at books in a local bookstore, I had thumbed through this one and actually read the ending, then planned to put it back...good writing, but nothing I wanted to read.
But I forgot to put it back, as I stacked up books and there it was when I got home. I decided to read it anyway, even knowing the ending, and find that I'm glad I did.
Very well-written, with a clever, poignant plot, this is a story that will stick with you. The narrator is Gordie, a young writer who wants to achieve the same fast success his mother reminds him (constantly) that his deceased father managed to find.
It's hard to say what needs to be said about this very good book without giving things away.
Gordie starts at the bottom, as an obit writer, low-end in the newspaper world - under the supervision of an aging, failed writer and editors who stab at Gordie's eager ego every time he attempts to take short cuts to success.
His lies tangle with the lies of others, his pride encourages him to inflate himself and blinds him from the truths. His inexperience couples with his wish to succeed; he seduces himself into believing what he wants to believe (aided by Alicia, a young and recent widow who has ego needs of her own).
Inevitably, Gordie finds himself both caught in, and part of the cause of, a tragedy.
(Note: what a previous reviewer's comments mean -- about LBJ, cowboy songs and Vietnam -- is a mystery to me, for none of those things are in this book)
This story is one that is not just good to read, but causes you to reflect for a long time after finishing.