Paradise Squandered: a novel by Alex Stefansson
Third Edition on sale July 23, 2013!
Sex. Drugs. Anxiety.
Alex Stefansson's ambitious debut novel is a powerful portrait of a disaffected generation in an empty, consumer-culture world.
Paradise Squandered is the story of Andrew Banks, a recent graduate of Puget Sound Prep and quite possibly the least ambitious member of his graduating class.
This is a story of what it is like to aimlessly trudge along that strange and uncharted course that is life after high school.
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Engrossing and engaging, told in first person, this coming of age story brings a sense of the known and unknown to the reader as it progresses. Andrew is not particularly lovable from this perspective, nor sympathetic, in fact I was almost hoping for something to shake him; for a snap judgment to be wrong, for some grey to invade his very black and white world.
Adding to the difficulty is the often lamented immaturity that is in juxtaposition from his sarcastic and often spot on depictions of people and events that surround him. While coming of age stories are usually angst filled and stereotypical: Stefansson's skill with the written word provides a sense of a real teenager as they navigate the world between childhood and adulthood. I won't make comparisons to other writers, as many have: for I think that this author managed to set his own path, with a book that is eminently readable and worth every second.
What you won't get is a happy ending with roses and bunnies: but you will see his growth and be left with a story that gives you some insight, and plenty of food for thought.
Exploring deep within the human condition, many types of personalities are touched upon from the aimless to the driven. I feel like I stumbled across a treasure with this book because its a book you can easily read twice as well as share. It's so well written that at times you fall into the story and lose your surroundings. SO good with detail. I'm just thoroughly, thoroughly impressed.
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