The Resource The spectacular now, Tim Tharp

The spectacular now, Tim Tharp

Label
The spectacular now
Title
The spectacular now
Statement of responsibility
Tim Tharp
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the last months of high school, charismatic eighteen-year-old Sutter Keely lives in the present, staying drunk or high most of the time, but that could change when starts working to boost the self-confidence of a classmate, Aimee
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2009
Review
  • Gr. 8-12 All the seniors in Sutter Keely's high school are planning for the future, except for him. The Sutterman is the original party boy, with a perpetual 7-Up and whiskey in his hand and a story to entertain all who will listen. He is a ladies' man, but he loses interest when the ladies demand that he pay attention to them, instead of himself, or make other unreasonable requests, such as remember dates or call when he promises. But it is Aimee, a social outsider, who gets under his skin and loves him in spite of his flaws. Tharp offers a poignant, funny book about a teen who sees his life as livable only when his senses are dulled by drink and only as fodder for the next joke or story. Lulled into believing he is happy in spite of his father's abandonment and his mother's emotional neglect, Sutter is an authentic character, and his unsteady sense of himself, as well as his relationships with his friends, will strike a chord with teen readers. -- Bradburn, Frances (Reviewed 11-15-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 6, p39)
  • Gr 9 Up— Sutter Keely, a high school senior, is determined to live in the moment. He eschews planning for the future, intent on letting the good times roll. Sutter's been downing six packs since seventh grade and is rarely without his flask of Seagram's. Despite the heavy drinking and some raunchy sex talk, he is initially a likable character with a fresh and funny voice, but his affability wanes quickly and that voice just doesn't ring true. He meets Aimee when he passes out on her front yard. Sutter isn't really interested at first and only dates her because he considers her a project, someone he can help become less of a social outcast. Along the way, he begins to come off as condescending and egotistical and his sarcasm isn't as comic. It's a well-written book told in first person, but the narration seems much too sophisticated to be believable. He uses phrases like, "I am…sore at heart" and utters phrases like, "the room brimmed with padded chairs." Some of the plot is also disconcerting. As the result of Sutter's drunk driving, Aimee is struck by a car on a highway and suffers only a broken arm. The story ends with Sutter drinking in a bar, assured he's a hero after dumping Aimee, and rejoicing about feeling nothing.—Patricia N. McClune, Conestoga Valley High School Library, Lancaster, PA --Patricia N. McClune (Reviewed December 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 12, p140)
  • /* Starred Review */ Unlike most high school seniors, Sutter Keely—the narrator of this smart, superbly written novel—is not concerned with the future. He’s the life of the party, and he’s interested in the “Spectacular Now.” In stream of consciousness–style prose, Sutter describes his lurching from one good time to the next: he carries whiskey in a flask, and once it’s mixed into his 7Up, anything is possible. He will jump into the pool fully clothed, climb up a tree and onto his ex-girlfriend’s roof or cruise around all hours of the night. Without ever deviating from the voice of the egocentric Sutter, Tharp (Knights of the Hill Country ) fully develops all of the ancillary characters, such as socially awkward Aimee, the new girlfriend who tries to plan a future with this quintessential live-for-the-moment guy. Readers will be simultaneously charmed and infuriated by Sutter as his voice holds them in thrall to his all-powerful Now. Ages 14–up. (Nov.) --Staff (Reviewed November 17, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 46, p59)
  • It won't take long for readers to deduce that Sutter Keely, the dreamless, ne'er-do-well protagonist of Tharp's third novel for teens, is a bona fide alcoholic with a misled heart of gold. He's the guy who can walk into any room and make the party atmosphere skyrocket; he can work the crowd, and everyone loves him. The various doses and nips of whisky and beer come so frequently that readers become numb to the effects: After page 20, they'll no longer cringe when Sutter swigs from the bottle while behind the wheel or mistakenly pushes his habits on his girlfriend. Because this is a cautionary tale, however, readers know that he's also every parent's nightmare. The characterizations are convincingly strong, but unlike Daniel Ehrenhaft's similar and better The After Life (2006), the author doesn't take any risks with the "day in the life of a party hound" plot. The results feel directionless and flimsy, and while this mirrors Sutter's personality and existence, it doesn't necessarily add up to a good teen novel. The story loses steam as its shock value dissipates, and ultimately the booze ends up having more bang than the book. (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2008)
Awards note
American Library Association-YA, 2009.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
293470
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1957-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Tharp, Tim
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Interest level
Grades 9-12
LC call number
PZ7.T32724
LC item number
Spe 2008
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
Reading level
  • 6.2
  • 4.9
  • 4.9
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
  • Reading Counts RC
  • Accelerated Reader AR
  • Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Substance abuse
  • High schools
  • Schools
  • Stepfamilies
  • Families
  • Oklahoma
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Substance abuse
  • High schools
  • Schools
  • Stepfamilies
  • Family life
  • Oklahoma
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Families
  • High schools
  • Schools
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Stepfamilies
  • Substance abuse
  • Oklahoma
Target audience
adolescent
Label
The spectacular now, Tim Tharp
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn212854743
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
294 pages
Isbn
9780606149471
Lccn
2008003544
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)212854743
Label
The spectacular now, Tim Tharp
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn212854743
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
294 pages
Isbn
9780606149471
Lccn
2008003544
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)212854743

Library Locations

    • Dayton Public LibraryBorrow it
      416 Ferry Street, Dayton, OR, 97114, US
      45.220501 -123.076794
    • McMinnville Public LibraryBorrow it
      225 NW Adams Street, McMinnville, OR, 97128, US
      45.210071 -123.199661
    • Monmouth Public LibraryBorrow it
      168 S Ecols St., Monmouth, OR, 97361, US
      44.848141 -123.23189
    • Newberg Public LibraryBorrow it
      503 East Hancock Street, Newberg, OR, 97132, US
      45.301909 -122.974741
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