Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Form: Audio Book
Narrator: Lincoln Hoppe
IN RE: James Sveck – eighteen-year-old New Yorker, charming, precocious, confused, doesn’t quite fit in (doesn’t really want to), If: his future (i.e., college) seems completely meaningless, not to mention terrifying Then: he’ll start anew (move to the Midwest?) In re: James Sveck – misunderstood by a capricious mother, a self-absorbed father, a mordant older sister, Et alia: his Teutonic therapist, his D-list celebrity grandmother, his unnervingly attractive art gallery colleague… If: What one wants is enigmatic… Then: Life can be hell. But: as the summer gets hotter, James comes to recognize the wrenching truth of his emotions. Jame’s archly comic bravado fuels this sharply observed novel of a teen adrift in an adult world, struggling to make sense of the problems of love and of lack. The engaging voice of our idiosyncratic antihero is deftly captured by the adroit prose of Peter Cameron. Often hilarious, deeply compassionate, smart, and lyrical, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is every bit as sui generis as James Sveck himself.
Source: back of Audio Book
One word summary: boring.
I just kept waiting on this book to get good, or to just go somewhere. For whatever reason, it just seemed more like a long drawn-out running commentary on a depressed teenage boy’s life for about 6 months. While some of his thoughts and ideas I could relate to, mostly he had a really depressed outlook on life in general, and really just could not look at the bright side of anything. At the end of the book, I’m not even sure he had grown as a person at all. His mom, sister, and pretty much every other human contact in his life seemed condescending, and didn’t even attempt to try very hard to see his point of view. Not that James made it easy.
I found this book in the young adult section of the library, but I can hardly see how any young adult would like this. Maybe I’m wrong. I can guess there might actually be a few out there who could relate to James, heck there actually were points that I could relate to James in – but the fact that he doesn’t seem to get better, try to get better, or really see too much outside of himself, his wants and needs. If this had not been an audio book, I would not have finished it. Since it was relatively short and the only thing I had to listen to at work at the moment, I trudged through the entire thing, but cannot recommend anyone else to do the same.