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Into the Great Wide Open

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Into the Great Wide Open

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
69905
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Kevin Canty’s first novel — spun off from a short in his superb debut collection, A Stranger in This World — is a teenage love story set in suburban Washington, D.C. Kenny Kolodny is a sardonic misfit (the kind of appealingly disaffected tough in whom Canty specializes) who falls for the broodingly intelligent Junie Williamson. She’s a rich girl who has survived a suicide attempt; he hails from a tragically dysfunctional lower-middle-class family. Their combination of mutual cynicism and tender romanticism makes for a high-voltage relationship until graduation, when this offbeat drama mushes out into an overcooked stew of messy emotion. But despite Into the Great Wide Open‘s final shortcomings, Canty’s searing, smart, and beautifully nuanced prose is a pleasure to read from beginning to end. B+

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