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Fun Camp (2013)

by Gabe Durham(Favorite Author)
3.75 of 5 Votes: 5
Publishing Genius Press
review 1: Publishing Genius rarely disappoints ( except for I Don't Know I Said which I thought was not commentary or exploration of nothingness but nothingness itself. I only mention that to add seeming objectivity to my love of most everything else they publish.). And Fun Camp is, as my Aunt Yadja used to say, a real firecracker. Epistolary in form, it reminds me of one of my favorites of that form, Letters To Wendy. Momentum and emotional complexity build with each fragment and the funny parts are often the laugh out loud while alone kind.
review 2: Readers who never went to summer camp needn’t worry. The characters in this vibrant novel-in-shorts (swim trunks?), from campers to counselors to Grogg the cook, are the perfect guides to a weeklong, wooded adventure
... moreaway from the lazy comforts of home. Fun Camp moves linearly from Monday to Sunday, covering nervous arrival to wrenching departure and all the accelerated, hot-house growth most conducive to youth in between. By using a range of recurring characters, varying voices, and formal shifts (lists, monologues, questions, etc.), Durham keeps the reader engaged and laughing and often surprised. Despite their brevity (or perhaps because of it), the shorts are bursting with movement. It’s no easy feat, and Durham makes it look easy throughout, particularly with letters, suggestions, and, here, a “Question”: “What’s the rule on campers soliciting curly locks from loved counselors?” Whether stargazing, pining, preaching, or struggling, each character is growing and learning lessons which are implicitly imparted to the reader. From “Everything I Know About Music”: “My friends: If I ever kiss all of you, you’ll know I’ve just made a terrible mistake.” There’s a level of sophistication here—the gut punch while you’re laughing—and it’s so subtle as to be stealthily disarming. Autumn comes and then winter, though in the summer it’s easy to live fast and maintain a kind of temporary short-sightedness that comes with warm water and soft skin. Life’s disappointments, however, and the inevitability of change, are right around the corner, and where this book succeeds so well is in its ability to stir the reader’s sense of nostalgia and the impermanence of youth. It conjures precious feelings that haunt both the head and the heart, and solidifies the notion that, due in large part to their sheer speed and amplification, our younger years are (or can be) the best years of our lives, and certainly the most pure and honest. Above all, this lovely and warming work is a celebration of the best kind of experience: shared. less
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If I ran an indie press I'd totally have published this book. It is fucking rad as all get out.
I will give 5 stars to anything that makes me lol. So many lols in this book.
Huh. That was interesting...
Well that was odd.
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