Sunday, April 30, 2017
Character, Driven, by David Lubar
At its heart, the novel is an insightful look at boyhood. Lubar does a good job bringing in the usual tropes of horny adolescence, but adding some sensitivity to Cliff (and balancing it by giving the girls a chance to have some agency of their own). Likewise, Lubar does a decent job giving the adults a more nuanced depiction. However, when it comes to the character-driven nature of the book, this is all about Cliff, no matter what else goes on in the story. And given that Cliff ultimately turns out to be an unreliable narrator, we are left with the frustration of not being entirely sure what actually happened in the story. This makes it hard to really summarize the story.
I enjoyed reading the book because it was funny (even if the subject matter suggests otherwise) and because I think Lubar (through Cliff's voice) made some wonderful observations, but I'm not really sure what it was all about.