Sunday, December 30, 2007

Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You by Peter Cameron

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374309892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374309893
  • List Price: $16.99
  • I finished this book on Dec. 28
The title of this book comes from an Ovid quote: "Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." I like the title, and I like the cover. It was one of the books in our new order and it intrigued me.
In this book our hero is James, who lives in NYC and works in his mother's gallery. He is a probably gay, antisocial genius. He's been accepted to Brown (didn't get into Yale) but of course he doesn't want to go. Supporting characters include his sister: Gillian (with a hard G) who is having an affair with a married professor, James' mother who is just coming off her third divorce and runs the gallery where James works. James' grandmother, Nanette, is the only family member who he can relate to. In fact, she is the only person who actually makes sense.
James has a crush on one of his older co-workers at the gallery and he sort of fakes the guy out and is accused of sexual harassment. Oh, and he's in therapy. And his therapist is kind of lame and the sessions don't seem to really go anywhere.
One neat thing about this book is that James is obsessed with vocabulary and proper usage of grammar. He is very concerned about expressing things properly, and I love this. (Remember how sexy I think good vocab is?)
Firstly: this book reminds me a lot of Catcher in the Rye. Young man has to face facts, make a decision regarding school. He has one family member whom he relates to and loves. And, accordingly, I feel about it the way I feel about that book. I liked it, I was on board. However, it was a quiet story and I am sort of looking for more in a book. Like explosions, you know? Or sex. Either way I liked the character and the prose, so all in all I'm a fan.
Anyway, here's Peter Cameron's site. I would definitely be interested in reading something else of his. If you want to read the first chapter of this book, go here. (Coincidentally, that's why I took this home like an eager puppy, because I peeked at the first few pages.)


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Teen Troves said...

I've got this in my TBR pile!