By Raymond Fiore
May 12, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Now Is the Hour

This coming-of-age story charts teenager Rigby John Klusener’s hilarious and poignantly painful experiences in a small Idaho farming town before his flight for San Francisco in 1967. If Tom Spanbauer’s too-choppy succinctness and propensity for using four-letter cusswords as entire paragraphs initially feel awkward, Now is the Hour eventually settles into a comforting rhythm and warmhearted intimacy. And the author’s narrative choice has purpose, vividly reflecting Rigby’s shame for playing dress-up, rage at his strict Catholic family, and confusion over a nonsexual relationship with his girlfriend. The emotional complexity of Rigby’s entertaining arc only makes one yearn to read about the San Francisco chronicles that surely follow.

Now Is the Hour

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