- File Size: 1008 KB
- Print Length: 292 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494356732
- Publisher: create space; first edition (December 15, 2014)
- Publication Date: December 15, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00R377NAI
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,722 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.00|
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The Little Bastards Kindle Edition
|Length: 292 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The flavor of his debut novel is hinted in his memorable Preface – ‘This novel is about growing up in the fifties. The decade didn’t have a major war or hippies, but the boys and girls I have portrayed in this book were a product of the war and entered the fifties as children. I made it all up, but it has good bones; it’s the way it was. It was an era that experienced huge changes. I was there when our front door opened and two men wearing white coveralls carried in our new Motorola 21” and perched it in the middle of the living room. It was 1955 and we had a freezer and a real refrigerator and a Buick in our one-car garage. It was exciting, and I was seeing the whole phenomenon over the handlebars of my Columbia bike with those big balloon tires that were good on gravel roads. These so-called improved roads surrounded our farm for several miles in all directions. My older brother, Bob, and his friends would take these corners sideways and drift through them in their jalopies. Hot rod magazines were my link to the world of show cars and drag racing. I pored over these like they were important documents, not missing a word. When in Albany, a typical town of 10,000 souls, shopping with Mom or riding with Dad, I witnessed these older boys mimicking what I saw in those periodicals. Hot rods and customs were driven by these creatures wearing bomber jackets and Elvis hair. The girls were there too, sitting close with lipstick and flirtation. They gathered at local service stations and would roar out with their pipes cackling. The police dogged them and wrote traffic tickets by the book full but couldn’t slow the enthusiasm. The fifties gradually faded out as Detroit was getting into the fest with their muscle cars. You didn’t have to build them anymore, which took away the individualism of a self-made road rocket. The music survived a little while longer, until the Beatles got off the plane, relieving us from our innocence and simplicity. I have told this story through the eyes of Sonny Mitchell, the fictional main character, who you may identify with. He and his friends mature from bicycles to cars with an air of cockiness and camaraderie; they walk with their shoulders back. At times, I became Sonny Mitchell as I rattled off this tale, and it about wore me out being a teenager in a sixty-some-year-old body.’
jim catches the flavor of the 50s in little glances, such as ‘Since it was afternoon by then, Joe’s mother, Sylvia Harden, was sitting on the porch nursing a glass of gin. She was preparing herself for another night tending bar at the Red Slipper, a dive leftover from the glory days of the war. She was laid back on an aluminum chair in her bathrobe, with her hair up in rollers. Having her feet propped up on the railing allowed her upper torso to be low enough she could reach the glass resting on the floorboards of the porch. She wore a black mask over her eyes, the kind you see movie stars wear to bed; behind that mask was her world and she rarely came out of it.’
The plot outline is seductive – ‘Sonny Mitchell and his friends are blue collar boys who are bursting out of the restraints of tame suburban life. They yearn for action, fast cars, and something more. A bond forms between members of his club as they progress from bicycles to hot rods, and take on experiences of white-knuckle street racing, beer guzzling...and girls. But as these kids approach adulthood, a dark edge jeopardizes lives as some take these new exhilarations too far. It will be up to Sonny to stop a tragedy that could destroy the girl he loves and alter the course of his life forever.’
Few writers today can match the authenticity of that mysterious, challenging time as the coming of age - especially in the1950s – that jim lindsay brings to this slice of time and life. It is rich in content, plain spoken in narration, and offers us insight into young lads whose journey has just begun. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 18
Ok, onto the book. Every once in awhile a book comes along that captures a sense of place and time. Sure, most stories try to do just that, but few totally succeed in bringing the reader into the mindset of not only the main characters, but also of the sense of time and place where the story unfolds. This is one of those few books that succeeds wildly at both. Set in the (fictional) town of Willamette, our story involves the "adventures" of some preadolescent young boys as they make their way through the innocence of boyhood onto their beginnings of becoming a man. During an era where our country was doing the same thing, moving from a simpler and more innocent world view, our characters are a great window into the mindset of my father's generation and the progression of our culture and the changing mindset of our country as a whole.
I’m not going to add a bunch of spoilers or discuss events that take place in a slightly veiled way where you end up knowing what's coming up later when you are reading this book. I hate that! No, this is just a quick review/OP of whether this book is worthy of your attention, time, and yes, money. It wholeheartedly is!!
I recommend this book to anyone who has a fascination with not only this particular time and place, but for someone who just enjoys a good story, fun characters, a coming of age tale, a bit of excitement, and an intimate look at a small slice of time and Americana many would say was a defining hour for a generation.
Give this book a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
The book is big déjà for me, who also grew up in a small western Oregon town and experienced most Sonny's teen-age life and friends in one way or another. While the book is fiction, I identify with just about everything and everyone in Lindsay's book. For example my brother and I lived on the east side of our town, and we were well aware of the west end where "Willamette's" upper crust lived; but any stigma we may have had about living on the east side was more than compensated by the fact that we, as did Sonny, both drove very nice (and fast) 40 Ford coupes.
If you grew up in a "Willamette", you must read The Little Bastards. And even if you are a teenager now you should read this book to relive the life of your grandparents.
While reading the book, and now 60 year after my teenage life I kept wondering: were there other "Willamette's" in the USA. There must have been many--the 50s were fabulous!
Iver W Duedall
Although this is a book about the fictitious town of Willamette, Oregon, the details are very descriptive of Albany, Oregon around the time of late 1950's and early 1960's.
I was repeatedly reminiscent of how much this details places and some names of my own childhood in Albany, Oregon. The book is a real page turner and kept my attention for the story as well as the familiarity with places I knew.
Thank you, Jim Lindsay, and may invite you to our 50th class reunion in 2015?