Bad Haircut: Stories of the Seventies

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Harper Perennial, 2009 - Bildungsromans - 228 pages
2 Reviews
Tom Perrotta has created a memorable young protagonist named Buddy in this unsentimental, often hilarious collection of short stories. Bad Haircut follows Buddy's boyhood and adolescent adventures as he struggles to understand the mysteries of race relations, sex, family dynamics - and haircuts. The setting is a working-class town in New Jersey. The time is the overlooked decade of the Seventies, with its vanished cultural landscape of platform shoes, hard rock, and the lingering aftershocks of the Vietnam war. But the joys and agonies of Buddy's coming of age are those of any young person, anywhere, anytime. "In a literary day when too many bland stories of growing up abound, Tom Perrotta's crystal clear and cutting vision shines through, " says Bret Lott, author of Jewel and Reed's Beach. Tobias Wolff, author of This Boy's Life and The Barracks Thief, calls Bad Haircut a work of "wit and humanity and cumulative impact." As was the case with Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus, Mr. Wolff says, "Perrotta's funny and deeply touching collection marks the arrival of a writer who's here for the long haul." From his unforgettable meeting with the Wiener Man in the opening story to his poignant reflection on a neighbor's death in the collection's finale, Buddy moves on his journey to manhood in the company of such friends and enemies as Sammy Rizzo, Neil Duffy, Zirko and Cockroach. Their adventures are played out in the halls of Warren G. Harding Regional High School, on the basketball court and football field, with a band called Rockhead, and in the homes and streets of the neighborhood. Friends, enemies and even family live in a dangerous world of teen pregnancy, wife abuse and mindless streetviolence. Yet it also is a world of wit, warmth and keen perception. Readers from teens to seniors will relate to Buddy's world, some with pity and resignation, many more with understanding and hope.

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BAD HAIRCUT: Stories of the Seventies

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Alternately light and moving, Bad Haircut is a first collection of short stories about a boy growing up in Darwin, New Jersey, during the '70s and early '80s. Buddy is an ordinary boy whose life's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stevejm51 - LibraryThing

Loved these stories. Written in straight forward, accessible language, the stories brought back memories of high school and those miserable, exhilarating times. Good stuff! Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Tom Perrotta is the author of several works of fiction, including 'Little Children', 'Joe College' and 'Election'. He lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

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