Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Bad Haircut: Stories from the Seventies - by Tom Perrotta
In his introduction, Perrotta says this collection of short stories about growing up in the '70s is "about everything the Wonder Years leaves out". He is referring to drugs, sex, homophobia, racism, bullying, and questioning of authority. The ten stories that comprise the work follow one character called "Buddy" from childhood through early college. Buddy, who instigates some of the cruelty we see in the book, is not necessarily a sympathetic character, but we are only seeing glimpses of his life. One thing I do like about Buddy is that he is a library user. Although use of the library is only mentioned in two stories: "The Wiener Man"; and "The Jane Pasco Fan Club" I will optimistically believe that Buddy used the library a lot since there is a nine-year time span between these two stories. In "The Wiener Man" eight-year old Buddy specifically says he checked a book out. In "The Jane Pasco Fan Club" Buddy and the lovely Jane go to the library to debate "the virtues of telling a story through the eyes of a minor character". And it is here that we see romance bloom between the teenagers - so much fun we can have at the library.