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If Jack's in Love Hardcover – September 29, 2011
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"Wetta's debut portrays the fictional El Dorado Hills in Virginia during the late 1960s with Southern gothic flair. ... At turns unsparing, tender, and disturbing when it comes to rivalry and the nuances of love versus obligation, this is no typical bildungsroman. That Jack emerges from a crucible determined never to look back is unsurprising; it is the path leading him to this conclusion that is intelligently, wonderfully conceived." — Publisher's Weekly, starred review.
"If Jack's in Love is a moving portrait of a specific time, family and town, but also a universal story of growing up and coming to terms with the people-and places-that raise us, told with all the humor, truth and urgency of its teenage hero. It may have taken the first half of his life to write, but Wetta's touching novel was well worth the wait." — BookPage
"...[Y]ou should read this wonderfully written marvel of a book: a work both gripping and hilarious, joyous and heartbreakingly bittersweet." — The Wall Street Journal
"The language here is wonderful. . . . downright funny." — School Library Journal
". . . terrific . . . raw and complicated . . . keeps us gripped until the end." — The Daily Beast
About the Author
Stephen Wetta is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He received his Bachelor's Degree from VCU and received Ph. D. at New York University. Stephen is currently an English professor at Hunter College. If Jack’s in Love is his first novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
The setting of the book is suburban Virginia in the late 1960's. The narrator Jack is a very bright and basically good kid who is often unaccepted by his peers because of the antics of his father and older brother Stan that cause the family to be deemed "trash". Stan and his father are not without charm as they are skilled in the "manly arts" of fixing cars, fighting and attracting women. Things come to a head when Stan is accused of the disappearance and later murder of a promising local boy with whom he had a very public feud. To complicate matters the dead boy's sister is Jack's first love interest. Confused Jack turns to a local jeweler, Moses Gladstein, for advice and stability.
IF JACK'S IN LOVE is written in a humorous style and has some laugh out loud moments despite its dark plot and themes. The author touches on some ideas important to the late 1960's in the South but does not develop them to a great extent. He does do a good job of creating believable teenage characters of the time period though the adults never appear as genuine. This is a decent coming of age novel that will likely be more appreciated by adults than teens and is definitely not for children.
One more thing I have to admit the main reason I bought the book was the authors biography (sadly, It is un available to Amazonian shoppers).....
It made me laugh, and wonder if he lived that crazy and wrote that well what would the book be like? .... I was not disappointed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bottom line: it reads like a first novel.Read more