One upside to reading multiple books at a time is that every once in awhile I finish reading more than one at about the same time, which has the effect of making me feel as if I’ve accomplished more than I actually have in a short time. That was the case today.
First, I finished George P. Peleconas new novel The Turnaround, another quality work of fiction.
Peleconas writes what I suppose many would classify as crime novels, which is justifiable since crime often figures into the plot. But then the man writes about the working class streets of D.C. so, yeah, there’s going to be some crime involved. But I just think of his fiction is good human drama. The wonder of Peleconas is that he raelly knows how to construct a good solid story, with a beginning, middle and end, which sounds easier than it actually is. Also, he creates characters that you can’t help but care about. And he knows how to go for the emotional jugular. The man really knows how to make the read feel something, you know. Finally, there is such an ease to his prose, it reminds of Larry McMurtry’s best work.
If you’re a fan of Peleconas you will not be disappointed by this latest effort. And if you’ve never read him before, well, you’re in for a treat.
The Turnaround revolves around a racial confrontation between three white boys and three black boys that ends with one of the white boy dead from a gun shot. The boys involved ranged in age from about 14 to 17 or so at the time of incident. The story catches up with them many years after the fact, bringing three of them, one of the white boys, Alex Pappas, and two of the black boys, the two Monroe brothers, together in a kind of reconciliation. The other living white boy, the one that ran from the scene all those years ago, is now a lawyer and has not problem defending himself against the attempted blackmail attempts of the third black boy/man, Charles Baker, who is looking to score some easy cash.
As so many of Peleconas’ stories are, this one is about redemption and making peace of sorts, with the past, with others, between people of different color, different worlds. But it is also about family and the obligations that come with family.
The other book I finished was Slackonomics, a nonfiction book about Generation X.
Generation X grew up in the 1980s, when Alex P. Keaton was going to be a millionaire by the time he was thirty, greed was good, and social activism was deader than disco. Then globalization and the technological revolution came along, changing everything for a generation faced with bridging the analog and digital worlds. Living in a time of “creative destruction” – when an old economic order is upended by a new one – has deeply affected everyday life for this generation; from how they work, where they live, how they play, when they marry and have children to their attitudes about love, humor, happiness, and personal fulfillment. Through a sharp and entertaining mix of pop and alt-culture, personal narrative, and economic analysis, author Lisa Chamberlain shows how Generation X has survived and even thrived in the era of creative destruction, but will now be faced with solving economic and environmental problems on a global scale.
It discusses Generation X in from broad perspective that covers pop culture, economics, politics, education, etc. I love this kind of stuff. Can’t get enough of it. I definitely need to buy a copy so that I can have it on hand to read again, soon hopefully.