I first heard of Tom Perrotta when I saw the movie Election (loved the movie, loved Reese Witherspoon in it), which is based on one of his books. Since then, somewhere in the background of my mind, I had bookmarked him as an author to try out.
I decided to start with his first novel – The Wishbones. This is the story of Dave, a musician in a wedding band called The Wishbones in the New Jersey of the 1980’s, and how his life changes as he approaches his own wedding to Julie. He has been dating Julie for fifteen years “on and off”, and once he’s proposed he starts to panic at the thought of changing his very comfortable way of life. Dave is supposed to be a rock steady and generally all-around nice guy. However, as the wedding date approaches he starts to make some really unusual life choices.
This is a short, easy to read story. It was quite a strange experience for me to hear the thoughts of a man who is going to get married. While we ladies are busy planning and looking forward to our dream weddings, it appears that men panic and act out, and behave almost as though it is the last free moments of their life! Some of his actions and generally his basic vacuousness (I can’t find another word to describe him, sorry!) really startled me. Hopefully, he is not the everyday American man as he is supposed to be!
One aspect that I did not relish was that there were a lot of open issues between Julie and Dave. However, none of them get resolved by the end of the book. They just go ahead and take the plunge. I never really got the impression that this was a happy union of 2 souls. There still seemed to be a lot of obstacles that they needed to get through. But then, I don’t suppose the author had such an ending in mind, anyway.
Apart from that, I quite enjoyed the novel. It is not really my type of book (I like to have strong female characters in the story). But, it was still quite an enjoyable coming-of-age type of story.
And I think I will be definitely reading some more of his books.