Kids These Days
Kids These Days
By Drew Perry
Algonquin Books, Paperback, 9781616201715, 320pp.
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Walter and Alice are expecting their first baby, but their timing is a bit off: Walter, once a successful loan officer, has been unexpectedly downsized. They ve had to relocate to Florida so that they can live rent-free--in Alice's deceased aunt's condo. When Alice's brother-in-law Mid offers Walter a job, he literally can t refuse. But what he doesn t know--about the nature of the job, about the depth of Mid's shady dealings, about what he's really supposed to be doing--far outweighs what he does know. And soon enough, things escalate so out of control that Walter is riding shotgun with Mid in a bright yellow Camaro--chased by the police.
Drew Perry paints a landscape of weird and beautiful Florida and its inhabitants--all wholly original and hilarious, and utterly believable. And at the center is a portrait of a father-to-be who is paralyzed by the idea of taking responsibility for another human life when he can t seem to manage his own. Kids These Days takes perfect aim at the two sides of impending fatherhood--abject terror and unconditional love.
“There are some madcap elements here that recall the novels of Tim Dorsey or Laurence Shames, but the core story of Walter’s family makes the enterprise feel closer to an Alexander Payne jaunt than anything else . . . A funny, frenzied tale of a terrified man plummeting helplessly into his own adulthood.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] timely look at contemporary America, with its unexpected economic setbacks and the bargains made to surmount them . . . Readers of Nick Hornby, Dave Eggers, and Jonathan Tropper should enjoy this compelling novel, the story of a man in transition that might also lure a few Florida fiction fans as well.” —Library Journal
“Drew Perry, a terrific writer, has written a wonderful book about a man dealing with--among other things--the angst of impending fatherhood. It's sweet, soulful, smart, and funny as hell. A great read.” —Dave Barry, author of Insane City
“This book is so funny and engaging that I was reading it and forgot to pick up my kids.” —Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
“Drew Perry does some amazing things in this wonderfully funny novel, not least of which is the way he so skillfully frames the uncertainty of parenthood against the larger uncertainty of simply living in these strange times. Perry has a generous heart and the talent to both break and rebuild our own. This is an astonishing book.” —Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang