Further, I have never read a bad review of this book. People always rave about it. I could hardly wait to start reading it.
Maybe I was hoping for too much because now I'm just unsettled. People reading the book often point out how funny it is, but living here it's hard to find most of this funny.
Some examples: a high school teacher gets tired of waiting for a hotel to check the students out and get on the bus so he calls in a bomb threat.
The author's childhood kung fu teacher neglects him on a camping trip and the teacher spends most of the trip getting it on with a woman in his tent.
The author himself tries to drop out of high school and accidentally ends up going to Yale.
If I had never lived here I would say these things sound implausible to impossible. But I see and experience crazy stuff every day, so I know these things could very likely have happened. I think people enjoy this book for the same reason they like Connecticut. It's fun to laugh at the insanity and chaos. But really, it's not so much fun to LIVE in the insanity and chaos.
The author made everything about himself--even his friend's death--which was a bit too much for me. I expected some mention of community or region. But if the author's father hadn't said he hated New Haven and the author hadn't said he was living in Connecticut I would have had no idea where this even took place. Perhaps I'm just upset because I got exactly what I hoping this book wouldn't be--an author who sees unable to think about things beyond himself. At the very end of the book the author even makes this point about himself. His father just says "Welcome." The great "revelation" at the end of the book basically makes no sense. I took it to mean, "Great, you've realized you're a selfish bastard, so now you're a man."
One final point, the subtitle to the book is Growing Up Absurd in Suburbia. I often find it funny that people say the entire state of Connecticut is one big suburb or a suburb of New York. I think the thing that really makes you feel Lost in Place while in Connecticut is that it's actually not suburbia. It's not the city or the country either. We call it suburbia for lack of a better term, but it's something else I just can't name that feels as though it has no identity...at all.