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I Didn't Mean to be Kevin: a novel by [Ross, Caleb J.]
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I Didn't Mean to be Kevin: a novel Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Length: 276 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"A stirring novel, this extraordinary work plays upon the reader's willingness to suspend disbelief and turns it on its ear...Covering ground similar to the works of Sherman Alexie and Chuck Palahniuk, this is an author worth keeping an eye on." -Publishers Weekly

" of the most amazing fiction concepts I've ever read." -Rayo Casablanca, author of 6 Sick Hipsters and Very Mercenary

"In I Didn't Mean to Be Kevin, Caleb J. Ross writes fearlessly, never shying away from the wild, insane places where his fertile imagination leads him. The first half a twisted take on small-town aimlessness, the second half the American road novel from hell, the book is ultimately a darkly comedic evaluation of a generation of motherless men." -Joey Goebel, author of Torture the Artist and Commonwealth

From the Author

I Didn't Mean to be Kevin is a novel about validation. The protagonist is a twenty-something boy looking to validate himself. He's never had a secure family, so he basically lies his way into the minds of strangers.

I started this book immediately after finishing my first novel Stranger Will, and I Didn't Mean to be Kevin definitely reflects my head-space at the time. Stranger Will is a novel about a man who doesn't want to be a father; I Didn't Mean to be Kevin is about a boy wanting nothing more than to have a parent. This process is consistent with most of my writing; I go deep into an idea and follow that up with something far removed. It's how I stay sane.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1502 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Viscera Irrational; 2 edition (January 12, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088QLPFM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #475,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book far exceeded my expectations. I only say that because Caleb Ross is a relatively new author with only a few titles to his name. I had the assumption that this book would be average at best. Let me tell you how wrong I was to assume that. This book was excellent. I found myself fully engrossed in the story. Caleb Ross packs a lot into these 200 pages.

Overall, I was completely impressed with this book. Caleb Ross has a lot of talent for writing. I can't wait to read more of his work. 5 stars for "I Didn't Mean To Be Kevin."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Chapter One: I know Caleb Ross. This guy, Caleb Ross, would tell stories. Mostly about people. He knew that the story was more important than anything. It didn't matter if it was real. You just have to believe it. Keep believing it until it has to be real. In this book, Caleb Ross tells us a story of a man (though more "boy" than he'd care to admit) looking for a mother. And in a culture where a disconnected family is more common than we'd like to believe, he finds himself surrounded by unlikely companions on a bizarre pilgrimage.

Caleb Ross would have you believe that the story is the most important part. I disagree. But only because I put heavy stock in a story's ability to keep me turning the page without over-burdening my brain. That sounds lazy, but with rampant ADHD {ooh... shiny} and other distractions, it's tough to really enjoy a book unless EVERY sentence has perfect prose. Not something a lot of people may notice, but it was not lost on me. I came for the story, but stayed for the writing, and I wasn't disappointed. Well done, Mr. Ross, and I look forward to the next story.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Caleb J. Ross explores the nihilistic underbelly culture of the American Midwest in his latest novel I Didn't Mean to be Kevin. It is a reverse coming-of-age story in which Jackson Jacoby and the friends he makes each attempt to uncover a childhood they never had. It is unclear if the book is a tribute to the underclass of America or rather an account of an adrenaline addict. I Didn't Mean To Be Kevin is literature that falls in line with the dirty, drug and sex-ridden films of Gus Van Sant and Harmony Korine who romanticize the grime and desolation of America's working-class.
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Format: Paperback
Did you know that if you're ever lost in a maze, you can always find your way out--eventually--if you just cling to one wall and trace it all the way to its exit? Jackson Jacoby is sticking to his story, too. It's a morphing, evolving tale to suit his immediate identity needs in the company of his traveling companions, these strangers-du-jour kindred spirits collected on the road to meet the mother he's spent his life convincing himself he doesn't need. Wait, not his real mother; this is just some lady who placed an ad searching for her estranged son, both of them happy to surrogate the other in their long-distance delusions.

Jackson is the ultimate unreliable narrator in a story about the very nature of storytelling itself. Why do we spin such tales? For the entertainment of others? Social anesthesia? To define ourselves? Reinvent ourselves? The book is also sprinkled with subtle, metafictional easter eggs that reference other classic novels' character backstories-- people Jackson claims to have met in his adventures, shortening the rope of his believability. Along our pilgrimage east, we stop in such roadside attractions/hazards as body-part museums, snow mazes, and diners aplenty--in search of "futile game"--each populated with someone and their story. Everybody's got one. And probably an alternate: a director's cut that's been refined and embellished over the years like some one-man game of Telephone. A recurring theme of ears permeates the book: torching them, explaining them, stealing them, bending them. Jackson's (self-)destructive behavior and personality take some warming up to, and he never makes it easy for anyone (including the reader), but eventually you'll find some sympathy in that blackened heart of yours for this motherless man-child.
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