If his future (i.e., college) seems completely meaningless, not to mention terrifying....
Then: he'll start anew (move to the Midwest?).
James Sveck is misunderstood by a capricious mother, a self-absorbed father, a mordant older sister, his Teutonic therapist, his D-list celebrity grandmother, his unnervingly attractive art gallery colleague....
If: What one wants is enigmatic....
Then: Life can be hell.
But: as the summer gets hotter, James comes to recognize the wrenching truth of his emotions.
James archly comic bravado fuels this sharply observed novel of a teen adrift in an adult world, struggling to make sense of the problems of love and of lack. The engaging voice of our idiosyncratic antihero is deftly captured by the adroit prose of Peter Cameron. Often hilarious, deeply compassionate, smart, and lyrical, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is every bit as sui generis as James Sveck himself.
(P)2008 Listening Library
This book is well written and is marked with occasional humor (especially for those of us who've lived in NY), but I couldn't get past the overwhelming desire to strangle the know-it-all, ungrateful punk of a main character. Listening to him drone on about everything he "hates" and the asinine reason behind it made me want to open a vein. Highly frustrating if you can't stand negative teenagers.
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