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My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Friday, November 16

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’ve never before sat in a movie theater all by myself, watching a movie all by myself. It felt strange. But I sort of liked it, made me feel special. I went to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower, all by myself, ate popcorn all by myself, never once had to scowl darkly at an impolite cellphoner or growl at a nearby chatterer, laughed as loud as I wanted, wept with no fear of being noticed by a fellow moviegoer. I sort of liked it. Did I sort of like Perks? Yes, quite a bit more than sort of, yes, even though it was a story directed more at a young audience than an old. I guess I must still be young at heart because I didn’t feel at all discriminated against. I could identify with the themes of being an outsider yearning for acceptance, of feeling the pain of first love, of finding friends and loves and then losing them to the vagaries of time and life. Been there, done that. What I couldn’t identify with is the picture of life in a modern high school. It’s certainly different from the high school I attended or the high schools in which I taught. These kids seem so much wealthier and more sophisticated than I was, more advanced in their studies than I was, than any of my students were. Charlie is given books to read that I would never have given any of my freshman students—Walden, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, to name only a few. Charlie (Logan Lerman) is the freshman wallflower of the title. He’s very introverted, sensitive, intelligent, wants to be a writer someday, but he can’t seem to fit in anywhere in his new school. When Mr. Anderson, his freshman English teacher (Paul Rudd), tells him “If you make one friend on your first day you'll do good,” to which Charlie responds, “If my English teacher is the only friend I make today, that'll be sorta depressing.” His alienation continues until two seniors notice him holding up a wall at a school dance. Sam (Emma Watson) and her step-brother Patrick (Ezra Miller) coax him onto the floor to dance with them, then accept him into their group, their “island of misfits.” Naturally, he falls in love with Sam. Naturally, she’s dating a fellow senior. Sam asks him just before she leaves for college if he’s ever kissed a girl. He tells her no. She says, “I just want to make sure that the first person who kisses you loves you. Okay?” They kiss. A silent tear from me. The story plays out in a series of brief flashbacks that explain themselves only at the end of the movie. I would recommend Perks to any and all wallflowers out there. And I pity all those who chose not to join me today, I being the only wallflower in attendance.

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