Sunday, January 25, 2009

Review of The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Sutter loves all his women. And they love him, even long after their relationships break down. Everyone’s favorite ex-boyfriend, Sutter just finds the beautiful “spanktacular” quality about his girls.

I make my case:
“what sets Casiddy apart is that she is so damn beautifully fat . . ..The fashion magazine girls are dried up skeletons next to her. She has immaculate proportions.”

“. . .one of these girls you might not think is that great-looking at first—big nose and all—but once you start talking to her, its like this humongous, sparkly, fun spirit bursts out of her eyes and you go, Wow, this girl is beautiful!”

The Sutterman lives in the here and now, in the moment ,you know. He’s the life of the party—any party—“embarrassment is a waste of time”. But more and more this requires the assistance of Seagram’s and 7UP. Nothing lasts very long not even the loves he LOVES.

His heart is huge and expansive. He takes lost boys home, gives up girls he loves for better men. And now he wants to save sweet, dorky Aimee from social anonymity and a bullying family. He means well and has no romantic intentions, but she does. And so it goes that they become an accidental couple. He is as appreciative of her beauty as he was of any of his hip, hot girlfriends.

“Without her goofy horse-face T-shirts and the off-brand baggy-butt jeans, her body is absolutely fabulous. . . . . It’s more that her skin is so pristine. Alabaster in the glow of the digital clock.”

But as Aimee’s confidence and social capital grows, so does her ability to take in the alcohol Sutter-style and the situations the couple get into get increasingly and deadly perilous. Turns out he loves her, of course. So what's our toxic hero to do? Sutter manages to save Aimee, but can he save himself?

Tim Tharp accomplishes something quite marvelous with language and characterization in The Spectacular Now. As I skipped along to Sutter’s beat and wit, my heart was breaking from witnessing the coolest, nicest guy heading consciously into the gutter.

Reviewed by Vivian


Adele said...

Not your typical male protagonist, I wouldn't mind reading this. And if Aimee really does wear horse head t-shirts, she needed help desperately!

The Ravenous Reader said...

Ahhh...those books sounds wonderful, something to savor on a cold winter day. Thank you, for this great review and for making me aware of something amazing :)

Race said...

Ooh... I want to read it.

Anonymous said...