The Pursuit of Cool
Apr 16, 2012
Author: Robb Skidmore
Paperback: 422 pages
Publisher: TMiK Press
Publication Date: April, 2012
A novel that uniquely captures the 1980s, The Pursuit of Cool tells the story of Lance Rally and his turbulent college years. He comes from a super-achieving family and is intent on being a big success. But he is also an inept, hopeless romantic, obsessed with pop culture, and prone to distraction. Friendships with a punk rocker and a subversive scholar challenge his worldview, and relationships with a beautiful psych major and a feisty goth girl change him. This coming-of-age journey is a funny and emotional ride through album covers, dance techniques, all-nighter revelations, and corporate internships gone bad. The story comes alive with music and movies which give Lance solace as he questions beliefs and his heart gets crushed. He tries to capture that illusive quality, that magic of youth, the essence that is "cool."
I'm an 80s gal all the way and from Page One I was remembering my entire teen years. The clothes, the songs, the hair (oh my .. the hair) and the 'floating through life' ideals that so many of us had after our baby boomer parents gave us everything we wanted. Lance Rally represents at least 5 guys I knew and so many of the other characters could I recognize. Nodding my head knowingly, reading through certain passages while twirling my permed big hair and jangling my big pink earrings... oh sorry, another flashback.
Poor Lance. His entire family is a giant success story. They don't just succeed, they excel at all they do. Lance, he just wants to "be". Listen to music, find a girlfriend he can actually figure out, find a job down the road that won't stress him out too much. Sadly, he continues to fumble his way through it all. Sometimes it turns out okay, most of the time one more disappointment lands in his lap. Meanwhile the family pressure grows as he works his way closer and closer to college graduation and "real life".
The book reminds me of several of those oh-so-famous 80s movies, and that's not a bad thing. Robb has done an excellent job of taking a character and creating his time and place perfectly.
A totally enjoyable flashback ride for me.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at email@example.com