The Best of Youth - Michael Dahlie
The fancy goats alone should sell you on this book.
Henry Lang has the best worst (worst best?) luck in the world. His parents die, which is bad, but they leave him with $15 million, which is good. Actually, the $15 million is the most good that happens, but then it sort of covers all the other bad luck of his (massive goat-icide, antique gun-trafficking, to name a couple). Anyway, Henry is a twenty-something-year-old wanna-be writer living in Brooklyn, but thanks to his not-so-small fortune, he doesn't have to have a day job like the rest of us. So, he dabbles in expensive goat-care, invests in an upstart literary magazine, and writes short stories about old people, while trying to get over his crush on his fourth cousin (because really, does that even count as related?). When a literary agent catches a whiff of him, he offers him an opportunity to ghostwrite a young adult book for a celebrity. As seems to be the theme with Henry's life: things do not go well, but nothing is unresolvable.
The overall tone of this book was very low-key and uncomplicated (although things do get rather complicated) and although it does touch on some heavier subjects, was overall a delight. It was humorous, not like HAW HAW HAW *kneeslap* funny, but more like *chortle snort* funny. I would say it's a good pick for readers and aspiring writings (particularly those in their twenties) looking for something quick and light and also very well written, though I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to non-readers as it is dense in that there's a lot more description than dialogue. Some parts do tend to drag a little, though it's a fairly short book and those parts don't drag on too long.
Though as a side note, I highly doubt a library would get a couple of ex-cons on community service to catalog a collection of old, rare books, when there are oh so many trained library science students desperate for unpaid internships...(guess who gets to spend this summer cataloging DVDs...)
A good, quick, funny read.