Please Don't Come Back from the Moon
One summer, the men of a working-class, heavily ethnic neighborhood outside Detroit begin to disappear. Even the parish priest mysteriously walks off. Our hero, 16-year-old Michael Smolij, and his pals say they’ve gone to the moon. After introducing Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon‘s intriguing premise, though, Dean Bakopoulos settles into a more familiar coming-of-age story — very familiar, alas — about young men making their way in a world of absent or dispensable father figures and encountering women who are either inscrutable or endlessly patient with these men-children. ”These things never go like you imagine they’ll go,” one single-mom girlfriend tells Michael, now in his mid-20s. ”Dreams never do.” Here’s my dream: a more integrated narrative vision worthy of Bakopoulos’ considerable talent for capturing young-male ennui.