ADIOS, NIRVANA by Conrad Wesselhoeft


Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review


Seattle high-school junior Jonathan’s life has turned upside down since he won a major poetry contest shortly after his twin brother’s death. His hedonistic mother, who works at the Bikini Bean Espresso Drive-Thru, and his Thicks (friends) all try to support him, but he's just careening through life, fueled by Red Bull and No-Doz. Jonathan fears sleep, when he's caught in the memories and music he shared with the brother. A bizarre intersection of amusingly oddball characters finds him earning cash by writing the biography of a Hospice patient whose life has been scarred by his experiences in World War II. In prose as overwrought as the protagonist, the first-person narration touches on poetry, truth, music, friends and death. The suicidal fears that are evident from the first page ratchet up the tension. Through a slam-bang climactic graduation ceremony that includes a priceless guitar, Eddie Vedder and King Kong, the appeal of the constant jitters and manic life finally fade. It’s all kind of a mess, but at least it's a high-energy, appealing one. (Fiction. 14 & up)
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-36895-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2010


AdultTHE MEMORY TREES by Kali Wallace
by Kali Wallace
ChildrenLOOKING FOR JACK KEROUAC by Barbara Shoup
by Barbara Shoup
ChildrenUP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo
by Jennifer Longo
ChildrenSAVE ME, KURT COBAIN by Jenny Manzer
by Jenny Manzer
ChildrenLOCAL GIRL SWEPT AWAY by Ellen Wittlinger
by Ellen Wittlinger