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“If I was any more mature, I’d have Alzheimer’s disease.” - Celine

November 27th, 2007     by Anna Leventhal     Comments

No, not that Celine.

Who knows why our brains work this way? It’s been two weeks since Stacey May asked for our recommendations for young adult fiction of days gone by, and this book just came to me today, while riding the bus. Maybe because I don’t think of Celine, by Brock Cole, as “young adult” fiction - it’s simply one of my favorite books ever, categories be darned. If you can image Miranda July writing Catcher in the Rye, it’s something like that - a wry, hilarious, at times almost creepily intimate story about a sixteen-year-old who is painfully aware of the falseness and manipulation of the adults around her, and whose running commentary on the absurdities of the world and her place in it is consistently dead-on and funny as hell.

I haven’t heard of Brock Cole before or since, but moments from this book still haunt me to this day, a good 17 years after I read it for the first time. Like Celine’s thoughts on sex: Ah! Sweet mystery of life! I’m beginning at last to understand those darker, irrational impulses that shape one’s life. I, too, have done strange and inexplicable things, almost against my will. I once pushed a navy bean up my nose… I know what it is for the body to be invaded by foreign objects, half consented to. The New York Times reviews it here; if that’s not enough incentive, let me say again: GET THEE TO THE LIBERRY.

Tags: bibliothèque

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