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Jonesing for a drive-in theater and a hotrod El Camino?
It’s the dawn of the 1970s and everything is changing. The war in Vietnam is winding down. So is the Apollo Space Program. The tiny northwestern city of Spokane is about to host a World’s Fair. But the Watergate Hearings and the re-entry of Skylab and the eruption of Mount Saint Helens are coming…as are killer bees and Ronald Reagan.
Enter "The Kid", a panic-prone, hyper-imaginative boy whose life changes drastically when his father brings home an astronaut-white El Camino. As the car’s deep-seated rumbling becomes a catalyst for the Kid’s curiosity, his ailing, over-protective mother finds herself fending off questions she doesn’t want to answer. But her attempt to redirect him on his birthday only arms him with the tool he needs to penetrate deeper - a pair of novelty x-ray specs - and as the Camino muscles them through a decade of economic and cultural turmoil, the Kid comes to believe he can see through metal, clothing, skin - to the center of the universe itself, where he imagines something monstrous growing, spreading, reaching across time and space to threaten his very world.
Using the iconography of 20th-century trash Americana - drive-in monster movies, cancelled TV shows, vintage comic books - Spitzer has written an unconventional memoir which recalls J.M. Coetzee’s Boyhood and Youth. More than a literal character, "The Kid" is both the child and the adult. By eschewing the technique of traditional autobiography, Spitzer creates a spherical narrative in which the past lives on in an eternal present while retrospection penetrates the edges. X-Ray Rider is not so much a memoir as it is a retro prequel to a postmodern life - a cinematized “reboot” of what Stephen King calls the “fogged out landscape” of youth.
Want to go for a ride?
Where does X-Ray Rider 2: Mileposts on the Road to Childhood's End rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Better then average..... a Dynamic Duo of Author and narrator make this story come alive to the listener.
What other book might you compare X-Ray Rider 2: Mileposts on the Road to Childhood's End to and why?
Which scene was your favorite?
Did not have one but getting an image a feeling of time and place takes listeners to a point in American history that they are unlikely to better experience outside of a Time Machine.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Welcome to my world.
Any additional comments?
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful
a cute story that a lot of people might like and I liked it but wasn't thrilled by it is very cute and better than a lot of short stories that I listen to so 4 stars for this book
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Wayne Spitzer has written a book likely to appeal to the teenage boy or adult remembering what it was like to be on the cusp of adolescence. The kid-never named in this work-is somewhat of a social outcast, not good at sports and attending summer school because of poor grades. He must pass to move to junior high. The only times he feels powerful is when he puts on his X-ray glasses and when he writes. When his summer school teacher accuses him of plagiarism, his promotion seems doomed. He knows something is wrong with his mother’s health so that adds to his anxiety. The gory movie at the drive-in may appeal to kids but it didn’t advance the plot. I would have liked to see more tension in the boy’s interactions with others, not a movie description. The author has a satisfactory resolution. The performance by the reader certainly takes the story to a higher level.