Tom Perotta is an interesting contemporary writer. I just finished, Bad Haircut, The Wishbones,The Abstinence Teacher, Little Children, Joe College, and Election. I don't really go for pointing out my favorite, but I really like his view on contemporary life. Little Children wasmade into a movie with Kate Winslet and is the most current. In that book a child molester torments a town and a woman having an affair tries to decide if she will leave her husband who surfs porn sites. The main character is a man who cannot pass the bar exam and get on with his life.
Election is another movie with Matthew Broderick. A very tight entertaining read about a highshool teacher locked in a battle with a student running for President of the student body (Reese Witherspoon) What is appealing about Election is the brevity of the book but also the nonstop pacing of the short chapters. Joe College may have been my least favorite but that could be because it was set on a college campus. Maybe I have just been out of college too long. The Wishbones centers around the last days of a wedding band and the hell of having a dream bash up against reality.
Bad Haircut are excellent short stories set in the seventies. Very poignant. The Abstinence teacher takes on the themes of the Christian right, censorship in our schools and the hell of a being divorced parents. The pacing is much slower than Election and it seems Tom Perotta wanted to tackle bigger issues. I really enjoy taking on an author and reading everything because you really can follow the arc of his career. Tom Perotta walks the line between commentary and entertainment. Not an easy thing to do.
William Hazelgrove's latest novel Rocket Man is due out in the fall