How much fun was this book to read? LOADS! 🙂
Last Stop This Town is a great graduation/road trip story: it keeps you laughing regularly throughout the story with fantastic dialogue, heart-warming (and non-cheesy) guy-bonding relationships. Some of the set pieces are familiar but done well or with quirky twists – and in honesty there are so many truthful elements to the scenes that I found myself genuinely caught up in the story page after page.
Being a book written by a successful movie screenwriter (including American Pie 2) there is a definite ‘filmic’ quality to the novel, but it reflects only in a positive way. Dialogue is realistic, punchy and very well done throughout. The novel has great pace too – shifting through a range of character perspectives and interesting scenes with enough detail and development without getting bogged down.
What I really liked about this was reading about the crazy world of your late teens from a guy perspective – you’ve seen it in plenty of films, but a book like this takes you deeper ‘behind enemy lines’: some of it is exactly as you’d expect (girls, boobs, sex and silliness, lol), but other parts are more touching and genuine than I think you get from TV/film. I liked the unstoppable carnage of the boys’ road trip and adventures in New York (think Catcher in the Rye, but actually being fun and with characters you don’t want to poke in the eye with a stick just to get them to shut up). I think most people who’ve been to college have had these kinds of days, you know, you go out for bread at 3pm on a Wednesday and next thing you know you find yourself sleeping in the corridor outside your dorm room at 4am Thursday, without the bread you originally went for. It’s so much fun dropping back into that world and reading a book like this. There are also some good mottos to live by if you’re a guy:
(on being offered a threesome) “On the way out the door, Pike asked Haley, “Your roommate’s not a dude, is he?” “No.” “Is she a fattie?” “Uh, no.” “Does she have two legs?” Haley stopped him. “Do you want to do this or not?” “Yes, yes I do.” They continued out the door.
I do like teen comedies: the quirky, the ironic, the smart and admittedly – to a certain point – the crass ones. I like the American Pies, I like daft guy banter, one-upmanship, mockery and plain-and-simple bullying – what can I say? 🙂 Coming from this – I knew I’d like this book, but Last Stop This Town was even better than I’d thought: the relationships between the guys run deeper than I expected and the physical/action humour translated really well in the novel, which I had wondered about: the scene with the homeless guy at the start probably works better than in a film and had me guffawing as everything escalated. Love Pike. There are also scenes which made me realise that during these years in some ways girls do have it easier than guys.
Overall Verdict: great for fans of teen comedy, guy-bonding/road trip type stories and anyone in need of some light relief (only in the context of reading obviously). I’d certainly be looking out for anything else David Steinberg does.