But here’s the thing. None of this ever happened. Or maybe it did. I can’t tell anymore. I’ve spent so much time reliving and rewriting those years that I can no longer descern which vignettes are the result of which process. In my reckless anger, I’ve managed to fuck up a vital area of memory to the point where I will never again be able to isolage reality, and so whatever good there might have been has now been lost to rambling fiction. And the worst part of it that I think I did it on purpose.
from The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Joe Goffman has made it in New York–hell, he’s made it in Hollywood–but he’ll never be more than shoe-shit in his home town, and he knows it. Never made the basketball team, best friends with a guy who turned out to be gay, wrote a book that laid out the whole town and added every nasty little salacious detail he could invent. The perfect revenge, provided, of course, that you stay the hell out of Dodge.
But Joe’s mind, his ego and, frankly, his dick are all still firmly planted in Bush Falls. The story of his physical return seventeen years after his disastrous senior year completely pulled me in. It’s rare for me to read a book with a male voice. Jonathan Tropper made me feel like I was sitting at a bar with my dearest Armani Asshole friend, listening to him ramble in between shots. Is it perfect? Nope. A little heavy on the dramatic foreshadowing, perhaps, but never pat, never cliched and never slow. I’ll read it again (and I’m sending a copy to my AA friend.)