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Swim the Fly Paperback – April 13, 2010
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Matt's about to spend the summer the way he and his friends, Coop and Sean, always do: competing against each other to be the first to reach a goal. This summer's goal? To be the first to see a real live naked girl. Soon Matt's got another goal to reach: swimming the 100 yard butterfly on his swim team to impress his crush Kelly and the new girl on the swim team. To accomplish this, Matt seeks the help of a eccentric and nearly-sadistic swim instructor, Ulf, who tortures Matt with his unorthodox training methods. Meanwhile, the race to reach the guys' goal continues with hilarious results.
Calame's background as a screenwriter (Employee of the Month and the Disney Channel original movie Hounded) shines throughout the novel, as each page is perfectly paced, beat by beat. Here the laughs really are a mile a minute. As each plan fails - some the fodder of popular teen shows, such as nude beaches, hiding in the locker room - they get more wild and ridiculous, but always hilarious. Whether it's the mishaps due to a powerful new laxative or an ill-fated trip to a nude beach, Matt and his friends never fail to bring the laughs. Although slightly crude, like films of the Jude Apatow ilk, Swim the Fly still packs a lot of heart. The rest of the novel is rounded out with great moments by his family, including a grandfather sweet on a widowed neighbor. Not just a boy book, it's a great summer read and one that'll be packed in my beach bag this summer!
In addition to the almost incontinence-causing hilarity, this book is true to life, capturing the awkward, sometimes mortifying experience of being an adolescent, while entertaining with brilliant characters, snappy dialogue and a gripping, redemptive story.
The novel is full of witticisms that stick in my memory, but are probably unprintable here (I haven't read Amazon's review policy). Calame has that rare gift of fiction writers -- a fresh, unique and memorable voice.
He has hit the ball out of the park here.
p.s. I had the same feeling of hearing an original voice that I did when watching Juno. I hope this, too, is made into a movie.
If that weren't enough, the teens are also on the Rockville swim team. Their coach needs someone to "swim the fly" (the 100-yard butterfly), which is generally considered the toughest stroke. Matt volunteers, even though he can barely do the butterfly, much less swim it competitively for such a long distance. He wants to impress the newest member of the team, Kelly West, who has turned from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. So what if Kelly is going out with the best swimmer on one of the opposing teams, a buff guy whose best stroke is the butterfly?
When Matt tries to train his body to meet the rigors of the race, he runs into all kinds of trouble, like trying to sneak into a private pool so he won't have to practice in front of his friends and accidentally trashing his brother's room when he's using his brother's weights to build his muscles.
While reading SWIM THE FLY, it's easy to identify with Matt's fears and insecurities. He's skinny and geeky, and not the type of guy beautiful Kelly would be impressed with. It's hard to imagine him ever being tough enough to "swim the fly" for 100 yards, either. Yet you find yourself rooting for him to succeed, despite all the obstacles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got a really kick out of this story. The dialog seemed authentic tho it's been a long time since I was 16. It was VERY funny. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Linda Harris
This was a super funny book that I would read again! My friend recommended it to me and now it's one of my favorite books😀Published 7 months ago by Meg Ovesen
Okay, you have to read this book first, or else everything else is given away. This book though was really funny. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ann Maede
I'm not a laugh-out-loud kind of reader. But I found myself, probably about a quarter of the way through, snickering, with my wife asking "what's so funny? Read morePublished 12 months ago by Goldfinch
This book is totally awesome.
The book has
-a little swimming tips to know
I am a 16 year old male and I thoroughly enjoyed this book every page was full of fun it kept you wanting more and more I wish there was more and more of this book.Published 13 months ago by Pepperhead
Couldn't put it down was super funny and easy to read. Now onto the sequel hope it's as fun as the first!!Published 13 months ago by dana paulli