© Lilli Bassett.
Alfred A. Knopf
The Spectacular Now
perfectly juxtaposes hilarity and tragedy in the character
of Sutter, a high school senior with a bevy of generous
and caring ex-girlfriends, a desire to help those in
need, a careless charm, and an insistence on being the
life and soul of the party. With so much to recommend
him, it's easy to overlook how often he's drunk. Written
with pitch-perfect voice, honesty, joy, and humor, we
almost don't realize how deeply we’ve sunk into
Sutter’s world until we close the book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tim Tharp lives in Oklahoma
where he writes novels and teaches in the Humanities
Department at Rose State College. In addition to earning
a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A.
from Brown University, Tim Tharp has been a factory
hand, construction laborer, psychiatric aid, long-distance
hitchhiker, and record store clerk. His first novel,
Falling Dark (Milkweed Press), was awarded
the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. Knights of
the Hill Country (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
is his first novel for young adults and was named to
the American Library Association's Best Books of 2007
THE BOOK (from the publisher)
SUTTER KEELY. HE’S
the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone
dancing. He’ll get everyone in your parents’
pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic
star. He has no plans for college and will probably
end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But
there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help
of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s
pretty fabuloso, actually.
Until the morning he wakes
up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s
clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help,
and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous
time and then let her go
forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other
girls, and before long he’s in way over his head.
For the first time in his life, he has the power to
make a difference in someone else’s life—or
ruin it forever.
So why do I call my stepdad
Geech? That’s simple. His actual name is Garth
Easley, so of course, I started calling him Geasley
and then it was the Geast and then it was Geechy and
now it’s just Geech. Which is perfect because
it sounds like how he makes you feel if you’re
around him for more than ?fteen seconds. Geeeech. Kind
of like retch.
He came along when I was eight,
and believe me, I wasn’t happy when we loaded
up and moved in with him. Holly thought it was the most
fandangulous thing that ever happened. It was like she
didn’t miss Dad at all. She was just happy to
have a pool in the backyard so she could invite over
all the high school hotshots who never really liked
Mom changed when she and Geech
got married. She started spending all sorts of money
on her hair and makeup. She traded in her long hair
and jeans and started dressing like something out of
a hoity-toit magazine all the time. I don’t think
she really even likes him all that much, though. You’ll
never see her leaning in close to him on the sofa, running
her ?ngers through what’s left of his hair or
sneaking up behind him and grabbing his bony ass or
dancing to Jimmy Buffett songs on the patio in the moonlight.
All that disappeared when she kicked Dad to the curb.
She’ll be on Geech’s
side this morning, though. They’ll present a united
front against me. Luckily, I still have a couple of
beers left from the twelve-pack I bought last night.
They’re pretty warm, but that’s all right.
I’m not exactly drinking them for refreshment
purposes this morning.