Monday, June 26, 2006

Please Don't Come Back From The Moon

As for the disclaimer, I spend a year or two (or was it three) in high school with Dean Bakopoulos. We were in Honors English together and overall I thought he was a pretty good guy. Apparently we were at the University of Michigan at the same time also. Since I just finished his first novel last night, "Please Don't Come Back From The Moon", I thought I would recommend it to y'all.

I will admit my initial intrigue and what caused me to buy the book was the fact I once knew the writer. But I also discovered the book in the review section of The Economist. Since The Economist gave it a great review and they only review a few novels a month, my expectations were rather high. I must say that Dean met my high expectations.

The story revolves around Michael Smolij and his friends who grew up in a working class suburb of Detroit. When the kids were approaching their teenage years, the men in the community started to disappear. This book deals with Michael, his family, and his friends as they learn to grow up without fathers into becoming adults and raising families themselves and struggling with whether they will disappear one day like their fathers did. It's at times sad and at times depressing and even a few times heartwarming. But ultimately I think I liked the book because it felt real. These characters were believable and more importantly, I wanted to believe in them and wanted them to succeed. I'd go into more details but I highly recommend buying the book for yourselves.

If you don't want to take my word for it, then apparently Oprah's magazine "O" hailed it as a triumph. And Dean was also named one of America's best writers by Virginia Quarterly in 2004. Below is a passage I found myself highlighting yesterday:
In either case I don't see much difference between the things that never
happened and the things that are believed to have happened and the things that
are inevitably going to happen. I don't see a whole world of difference
between our deepest wishes and our deepest fears.
They all merge together eventually.
We do what we can.
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Anonymous Dean B said...

Thanks, Tom. I stumbled on your blog while looking for a copy of an old review for my files. So glad you liked the book.

Go Tigers.

7/05/2006 08:07:00 AM  

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