Sunday, November 11, 2012

Review- The Bull Years by Phil Stern

Goodreads Summary:

A Novel Of America's Most Disillusioned Generation

For Steve, Sophia, Dave, and Brooke, life hasn't turned out as planned. Rather than easy fame and fortune, these happy-go-lucky teenagers of the 1980's found young adulthood a mystifying series of dead-end jobs, failed relationships, family scandal, and surging frustration.

Now approaching middle age, all they want is to reverse their gradual alienation from life and one another, reconnecting with their earlier, innocent selves.

But there's a catch. Before any of them can move forward, they must collectively confront that one outrageous night back in college that first drove them apart, revealing secrets potentially shattering everything they ever were.


The Bull Years is an excellent read. A compilation of diary entries made by some 30 plus people about their college life, the book basically revolves around a group of four good friends- Steve Levine, Sophia Danton, Dave Miller and Brooke Smith. One college night changes everything and the protagonists find themselves thrown apart from each other. From there, they all go their separate ways, until there comes a time when Steve is working on A Life Projects and decides to get in touch with his old friends so can they can write about their lives.One other character is that of Hayley Skies, Steve's current neighbour, who also writes about her life for Steve's project.
Each and every character is so distinct and the book keeps the reader inquisitive. There is nothing such as 'the best entry' or 'the least favourite entry', because all the entries are so well written. The views that these guys have about life after having experienced a major chunk of it, are so inspiring that one is compelled to highlight them. Honestly, you don't feel like putting the book down! Once you start off, it sure is difficult to stop.
I would recommend The Bull Years to all lovers of reading. This is a different kind of book, in a good way. It keeps the reader awake throughout and there never comes a time where you need to go back to some previous chapter to get any sort of reference or to get some facts straight. It has been put down brilliantly.
The best thing about the book is that it seems so real. "Contemporary Fiction" is the best title and the most appropriate for the book. The incidents in the lives of all the people are something that can be easily believed. I would also say that the book is a good eye- opener to basically everything that goes around in the world. Though more restricted to the American society, I am sure all the readers will have fun reading this one.
One of the lines from the last entry made by Steve Levine himself describe the book absolutely correctly- "Normally when people die their bodies are buried to rot away into nothing, but THE BULL YEARS might remain, intact, for a long time."
This is one book that I think should not be given a miss. 


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