I wrote a review of this book some time back (link below), but thought the customer reviews from Amazon might be both more revealing and inviting. In these sad and depressing days, it is often helpful, indeed critical, to recharge one's batteries, or at least experience an enjoyable escape.
I am reminded of Edward Abbey, who made a point of saying that we had to take time out to enjoy nature, as we depressed ourselves trying to save it. David Brower said we need desperately to keep a sense of humor, as we fought environmental battles (considered by many to be "The Father of the Environmental Movement"). I agree completely with both these wonderful (though now deceased) characters, and do my best to follow their most sensible advice. So here is a book that may help along these lines. I note that three of these reviews are from OEN readers, who wish to remain anonymous. For a link to my former review, please see the link below.
By Terry Stivers on August 6, 2013
I enjoyed A Summer with Freeman immensely and laughed my ass off through nearly all of this book. It brought back lots of old, painful memories, some really good ones too, and made me thankful that my own life experience wasn't all that bad.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I'm not talking about the French Revolution (I apologize to Dickens), but about puberty or that awkward age we all pass through to become an adult. Dan Geery, I'm sorry for your experience--if it is indeed your experience, but at least we can all laugh about it.
This story unfolds in the early 1960s. Our protagonist, Joey, has grown up ignorant and fearful--just like anyone in this country did in those days. It takes a new friend, "Freeman", to snap him out of his "worse-than-death", teenage dream state. This does not happen all at once, but after a summer-long series of enlightening, unpleasant (in a sort of crap down both legs sort of way), yet absolutely hilarious experiences.
Our new best friend and hero, Freeman, takes Joey on the roller coaster ride of his short little life. Courageous, or dangerously impulsive? Intelligent, or blissfully ignorant? Who knows? Freeman holds us fascinated like the proverbial cobra hypno-eyes. Joey needs Freeman. Why else would he tolerate the crazy situations he always ends up in. We all needed (or still need) someone like Freeman to yank us out of the ruts of our lives and introduce us into a much larger and liberating existence.
This is not exactly a nostalgic rite-of-passage story. Geery takes on bullies, sex, summer vacation, little brothers, big brothers, girls (did I mention sex?), the Catholic Church, painful ignorance (the male kind--did I mention girls?), toxic waste, suburban sprawl and other environmental concerns, FEAR and what happens to the body when FEAR just becomes too much to deal with.
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