IMPORTANT THINGS THAT DON'T MATTER
p> Troubled-suburban-child-of-divorce stories are nothing new, but the beauty of Amsden’s first-person tale is in the psychoanalysis-free telling. His nameless narrator breezes through accounts of his first porn film at age 6 (while Dad snorts cocaine in the next room), his first father-son drink at 7, his first sex in high school, his admission to college, and his decision to drop out — all told with a chatty Salinger-esque detachment. He drops casual references to his own less-than-sane behavior — slicing his knuckles with a knife, for instance — and observes his clueless father without a shred of judgment. The novel’s so real and personal it’s like being in this Gen Y kid’s skin for 15 formative years.
Important Things That Don't Matter