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Huge: A Novel

1 rating: 3.0
A book by James W. Fuerst

In his mind's eye, precocious 12-year-old Eugene Huge Smalls, the narrator of Fuerst's quirky debut, is the lineal descendant of Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade and other pulp detectives he admires. When the nursing home where his beloved grandmother stays … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: James W. Fuerst
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
1 review about Huge: A Novel

Good Will Hunting meets Lance Armstrong meets Kevin Arnold

  • Jul 27, 2009
Rating:
+3
"I'd chanced upon the essay in a pile of bound periodicals at the public library about six months ago...."

This, from a twelve-year-old? Seriously? I don't think so.

One of my pet peeves is dialog that's supposed to be coming from kids but is far too sophisticated. Yes, I get it; Eugene, our protagonist, is really, really smart. That might explain why he has a healthy vocabulary, not why he talks--at times--as if he is a lit. major. At other times, mostly in the beginning of the novel, he talks like Phillip Marlowe. Both are off putting.

Look, you're reading this review to help you decide whether you should buy the novel. Buy it. Fuerst is going to develop as a novelist (my prediction), so his next offering has to be better than this. Eventually, when the Marlowe lingo drops off (which is pretty quickly), and you start getting the back story, you'll wonder what's going to happen to the tough-guy-in-tike-form. You might even like him. I never did, though I did come to understand him somewhat. Language throughout the book is raunchy, so be ready for that. (Yes, Mr. Fuerst, I understand that you're showing us how you can deliver teen-speak. Do you understand that doing so in every paragraph undermines your brilliant writing?)

In spite of the flaws, the novel does offer enlightenment and change for the protagonist (finally, thank heavens), and some insightful passages about the way adolescents, who are ruled by their unruly hormones, think. What Fuerst seems to be good at is getting us inside the mind of a kid whose stature and brilliance make him different. And Thrash. I thoroughly loved Eugene's sidekick, Thrash. It is for him that I have given the novel four stars.

Don't know who I'd recommend this book for, as I'm still wondering who the intended audience is. But it is worth reading for Fuerst's psychological explorations. And Thrash.

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