Monday, March 29, 2010

America's Report Card, by John McNally

Another seriously cynical and funny book by John McNally. Iowa City alternates as a kind of a black hole/paradise in his books, it seems. This one has recent college graduates and lovers Charlie and Petra take low-wage jobs ("just for the summer") scoring National Test Center essays, but when Charlie begins to feel that more is being tested than students' ability to write a coherent sentence, his life goes off the rails. Wild subplots and great characters, including Jainey, an 18 year old green-haired cartoonist who keeps her dead art teacher's Osama Bin Laden/George Bush statue in her room, kept me eating this up. Strange flavor, but powerful good.

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