KICKING TOMORROW by Daniel Richler
Kirkus Star


Email this review


If not the only punk coming-of-age tale that will ever be set amidst the language wars of 70's Quebec, this funny, knowing, and boisterous novel will likely remain the beat. Admirably, first-novelist Richler (son of Mordecai) is not afraid to let his protagonist he a jerk. More Gnossos Pappadopoulis than Holden Caulfield, Robbie Bookbinder is a cauldron of adolescent angst and nowhere near as smart as he thinks. His anger--and talent--remain unfocused, his life little more than playing aloof and doing drugs with friends, until he meets 15-year-old junkie nihilist Ivy. Robbie's soon twisted by unrequited love, and involved with Ivy's brother Olly's biker club, the Dead Man's Hands. While Ivy and an unnecessary McGuffin (her heroin stash) soon have Robbie spending time at a seedy strip-club, tailed by cops, and implicated in a deadly fire, his laid-back dad and eco-activist, TV personality mom are disappointingly understanding--until he floods the house. Thrown out on his own, he rents an apartment and sound equipment, longs for Ivy, takes up with Rosie--a widely read, feminist stripper--and forms Hell's Yells, a punk performance band. Consistently selfish, he's thrown out again, then inhabits the streets until a mushroom-induced catharsis sends him home, where, purged, he can now channel his energies, finally letting him commit himself to a cause. A fanny, honest portrait etched in sharp, original, and exuberant prose. More, please.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1992
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Random House