This is a supernatural story that has deep metaphysical underpinnings. Being a philosopher, I genuinely enjoyed the story because it was so different and brilliant in the way it was portrayed and written. The characters are multi-dimensional and deep, taking the reader on spellbinding escapades never envisaged until its almost too late. It’s a gripping read.
As the story starts, the reader is transported into the summer of 1953 in America when Calvin Jefferson Coolidge is a thirteen-year boy. He thinks he sees the ghost of Joseph Stalin in his Aunt Evelyn’s cluttered attic. The ghost comes back later in the story which makes the read even more mesmerizing.
This experience has a negative impact on Calvin. He becomes a loner and even reclusive. He is a misfit in school and in his community. His best friends seem to be famous dead people. He lives mostly in his imagination. The world is too much for Calvin to bear in any kind of normal way.
Yet, he has normal teenage urges. He wonders what it would be like to kiss a girl—although he doesn’t have the hope of kissing one ever. The lady next door would love to instruct him on all things love. But is she able to do so?
To make matters worse, his family also has a problematic past. His father is a con man who lives in Florida. He is looking for his mother who has bipolar disorder. His cousin Buck is abducted and experimented on by aliens.
The other people in Calvin’s life don’t have a good opinion of him. The only person who thinks highly of him at all is his English teacher who calls him a savant. The rest of the people both in school and in his religious circle have nothing positive to say about him.
What makes Calvin tick? How will he pull himself together into later adolescence and adulthood have so many issues psychosocial issues and concerns? This story examines these issues in depth, making it a deep and provoking read. It is a story that won’t be soon forgotten.
Lastly, this is a story for the younger teen who finds himself out of sync with the ret of the world and countercultural. It can be very empowering for adolescents to read about another person who is struggling like they are and who may not be socially inclined.
I loved the story, and it will be encouraging a few teenage boys in my midst to pick up and read it.