August and Then Some
By David Prete
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393057997, 272pp.)
Publication Date: April 2012
List Price: $24.95*
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In the heat of August, Jake Terri Savage ( JT ), his little sister Danielle, and his bone-headed best friend, Nokey (nicknamed after gnocchi ), try to steal JT's father's beloved 1965 Shelby Cobra. Their reasons are noble; the consequences, devastating.
JT's abusive dad's idea of a twelfth birthday gift is getting his son involved in a barroom brawl. Nokey's dad thinks he has potatoes for brains. Both sons live out their fathers stunted visions in a way that brings down a terrible judgment on them all leaving JT hauling rocks for punishment while he staves off panic attacks and nightmares about his sister and her terrible half-known secret.
A Dominican teenage girl with little hope for her own future gives JT a second chance to save someone, including himself. Throughout, David Prete's vivid sense of atmosphere, tight plotting, and crackling dialogue give the dysfunctional family story a new lease on life.