The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now by Jim Tharp

Sutter Keely is a high school senior who insists on living in the moment;  “embracing the weird.”  He says, “Let everyone else go marching off into their great shining futures if they want.  Me, I’ve always been more than content to tip my whiskey bottle and take a ride straight into the heart of the spectacular now.”  Sutter has been drinking regularly since the seventh grade, and is known as the class party guy.  His beautiful girlfriend, Cassidy, dumps him because he can’t even do the one thing she begged him to do in their latest heart-to-heart talk.  Frankly, he doesn’t even remember what it is she wanted…

I found myself charmed by Sutter one minute, and angry at him the next.  When he takes up with a socially inept girl named Aimee, I wanted to hurt him, since there seems no way out but hurt for her, especially after she starts drinking vodka and cranberry juice to keep up with him.

Over all, this was a good book.  I appreciated that the ending was realistic, although not the fairy tale ending we sometimes prefer.


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