Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Notes From the Midnight Driver

This is one funny book by Jordan Sonneblick. Not so much laugh out loud funny (though there were parts like that), but situational funny that you're glad you don't have to take part in. I can't remember how it was that I came across it, but I know I saw something about it on amazon. This is the story about Alex, a decapitated lawn gnome and a old spiteful Yiddish man.

With the opening of the book, Alex has just gotten himself smashed on his parent's vodka, hops into his mom's minivan and attempts to drive to his dad's house to confront him about dating his third-grade teacher. However, one block after he's started driving, he ends up on his neighbors front lawn with a headless gnome underneath the bumper of the minivan. (I just have to say that when I read this opening paragraph I started laughing out loud, especially when the police man lets Alex know he's just decapitated someone and he thinks he means a real person- wow it was funny!) Obviously, Alex ends up getting arrested, and ends up having his day in court and is sentenced with serving 100 hours of community service at the convalescent home his mom works at- she chooses an ornery old man for him to "help" because none of the on-call nurses can handle him.

Of course this is a coming of age story, but with a funnier twist: Alex is one sarcastic and satirical kid and so his inner thoughts and monologue are very funny to listen to. Because he's so witty and gets away with lots of things, Alex makes excuses for everything wrong he does. Sol (the Yiddish old man) quickly preys upon this and "helps" Alex grow up in a sense (more like making fun of him until he bucks up). A connection is made between the two unlikely friends through their guitar playing and conversation, and Alex learns what responsibility is and what it means to be a friend.

I really liked reading this book for its general humor and charm. I did read it within a time period of 32 hours, so you can see that it kept my focus. It's definitely worth reading today, if you're looking for something fun and light.

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