Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: The Pursuit of Cool

For those of us who spent four plus years transitioning from our teens to our early twenties in college, it was indeed a time for discovery and growth. For those of us who did so during the 80’s, reading Robb Skidmore’s first novel The Pursuit of Cool can very much be like strolling down memory lane.

This fictional work is the story of Lance Rally, a student who finds that the college experience can be filled with pressures and often-confusing situations. His family has high expectations for his success. However, a lot of the time, distractions and aspirations get in the way of his academic pursuits. And even in the arena of relationships, an area which he had very little success during high school, he is often stumbling along.

There were definitely parts of this book I could relate to. My college years overlapped those chronicled in the book; I was in school from the fall of 1983 through the fall of 1987, whereas Lance’s exploits run from the spring of 1986 through the spring of 1990. Like Lance, my own experiences with the fairer sex blossomed during those campus years. I too did internships as part of my education and spent my senior year living in an apartment.

But there were a number of aspects in Lance’s life that were foreign to me as well. I never really struggled with my GPA, save for one particularly rough semester during my sophomore year which I managed to recover from fairly quickly. My circle of friends tended to be more like-me (tech geeks and on-campus volunteers) rather than punk rock actors and subversive scholars. And I never really felt unsure about where my future would take me after graduation.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I am very much into 80’s music. And that is an aspect of this book that I enjoyed as well. Author Robb Skidmore seasons the story with many music references, for music was very much a key cultural aspect for we students of the 80’s. They set up a number of touch points that brought back nostalgia for this reader.

The Pursuit of Cool can be found at all the usual online sources and is very affordable in your favorite e-reader format.

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