Thursday, 17 April 2014 / No comments

Review: Outside In by Doug Cooper

Outside InOutside In by Doug Cooper
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Brad "Call me Shep" Shepherd is a 28 year old teacher who faces an existential crisis after a tragedy in his classroom. he follows the Summer crowd to Put-In Bay in the middle of Lake Erie where he hopes to find himself and his path.

His search has him working as a bouncer and experimenting with every increasing amounts of drugs and alcohol until finally, another tragedy allows him to put things in perspective and see where he really belongs.

In the notes, the author describes this as a cross between Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Catcher in the Rye. That's a fairly apt description, and one that occurred to me as I was reading. The writing was very cinematic in feel and the novel would translate very well to film.

There were certainly elements that I could relate to, as a teacher who had a similar, if much less extreme, journey at the same age, but ultimately I found Shep and unlikeable character who I just wanted to slap most of the time. And the supporting cast weren't much better.

I can see this book appealing to those in their mid to late 20s who are transitioning from an over-long adolescence into adulthood like the main character, but it wasn't really my cup of tea.

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