Monday, November 28, 2011

80s Flashbacks

Remember the 80s? Of course you do. We all did, and with Frank Anthony Polito's twin set of novels, "Band Fags" and "Drama Queers!" I remembered it a little more. The exclamation points on the titles give the tone of the book away. It is as if it is saying, reminisce your high school days in a fun way. The first book centers around Jack Paterno, a teenager who hasn't fully come to terms with his sexual orientation, and this is his "coming of age" tale, riddled with all kinds of 80s memorabilia. The author inserts all the popular songs, movies, television shows of the day. I must admit it was kind of fun to remember them, but the over all effect seems to be more a scrap book than a novel. I could have done with a little bit less with the minute details, but all in all, I got hooked into Jack's story, and felt a little wistful towards the end as he graduated High School and went off to college. I thought the follow up novel "Drama Queers" was a continuation of his story.  But "Drama Queers!" really just essays the same senior year, but now told through the eyes of Bradley Dayton, Jack's best friend from the first book. Deja Vu - could you be the dream that I once knew, if I may quote a lyric from an 80s song. The second one lingered on details even more, and the plot here is even thinner. If I had to choose between the two, i would go with the former. I really wanted to love these two novels, but I only borderline like them. 

BC - 45-46

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