July, July by Tim O’Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a book of stories… sad, very sad stories of some fifty-somethings at a thirtieth (one year late) college reunion in the summer of 2000. These are children of the late 60s. They are all FUBB, each and every one. However, they’re all wonderfully human in their FUBBness.
O’Brien is a masterful character creator. He manages in three-hundred or so pages to make you feel as though you were at this reunion and knew all these folks back in the day. I was more a child of the early 70s than the late 60s, but I have an older brother, so I was exposed to that turbulent Nam era. I could relate in many ways to these folks at this reunion. Many of us who came from that era would.
O’Brien’s book had a taste of Stephen King to it. The only difference is that O’Brien is writing about real human horror here; the kind we all experience and pile up in our wake as we go through life. I’ve officially added Tim O’Brien to my list of authors I would love to have dinner with and spend the evening talking. If they all showed up for the same dinner, Tim would find himself in fine company.
Read this book. It’ll remind you of something in your own life… or you’ve been living under a rock for fifty years.