BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL: A Diary of 1964 by Bob Greene
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BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL: A Diary of 1964

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Syndicated columnist/best-selling author Greene (Cheeseburgers; Good Morning, Merry Sunshine) dusts off his high-school diary, polishes it up for literary consumption, and offers it as a funny, dead-on testament to the trials and triumphs of mid-American teendom. On a journalism teacher's advice, during each day of 1964 Greene recorded details of his life as a high-school junior/senior in the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Bexley. ""Cryptic sentence fragments and disjointed conversations and hurriedly written descriptions of emotions,"" as Greene puts it in his introduction, are the raw material he has here refashioned into coherent entries, Innocent by today's standards, Greene's teens, filtered through his adolescent intensity, shimmer with meaning in even minor occurrences: ""She let me put my hand under her bra again . . .I kept telling myself: Don't fall asleep. This is the best thing that has ever happened to you in your life."" Within January's entries, Greene introduces the central people whose lives will entangle with his through the year: his four best pals, with whom he competes to see who will be laid first; his family, particularly Dad, archetypically suburban/patriarchal; and his ex-steady, Lindy, about whom he frequently obsesses (""God, why can't I have her back?""). For the rest of the year, a densely packed, often hilarious litany of buddyships, cruising, family squabbles, girlfriends, sexual forays, college fears, after-school jobs, classroom pressures, and rock 'n' roll fills the pages. True to life, there are no orchestrated character developments, no poetic resolutions--Greene remains a virgin--but only the fascinating minutiae and debris that cling to a typical teen. Since days vary little in this teen's life, Greene's diary is more to be dipped into than read cover to cover. But that dipping provides quick, convincing immersion into a rich and familiar world: a real treat for anyone who wants to remember when. . .(and that's a whole lot of people).

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Publisher: Atheneum