By Troy Patterson
Updated March 17, 2020 at 03:07 AM EDT

July, July

B-
type
  • Book
genre

Three decades after graduation, the 1969 class of a Minnesota college reunites to chatter about swelling waistlines and ruined dreams and to make awkward passes while the band plays ”hard-core Stones translated for the times by clarinets.” O’Brien, author of the Vietnam War novels The Things They Carried and In the Lake of the Woods, has structured the book such that every reunion scene is followed by a flight into one character’s history — the lives of the draft dodger, the cancer patient, and all those horny fiftysomethings shallowly rendered in fleet flashbacks. July, July is not a novel but a disjointed medium-gray farce that gives only a little chill.

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July, July

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