WHERE’S MY WAND? by Eric Poole


One Boy's Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting
Email this review


A quirky, irreverent story of growing up odd in the 1970s, when people still wrote letters, loved shag carpeting and used carbon paper.

Fox Television radio-marketing executive Poole grew up in the Midwest in a family, and among an assortment of characters, destined to end up in a coming-of-age memoir. Some of the more entertaining stories include the chaos of his parents’ fighting in 1969; the author’s befriending of the sarcastic, armless Stacy (who “exhibit[ed] her stumps to the amazement and awe of the gathered fourth-graders”); his magical obsessions with Bewitched, which included an unhealthy attachment to Endora; and his failed exorcism of another boy in Bible school. From his early childhood, when he escaped into his family’s basement to chant magical charms to ward off alienation and chaos, through his teenage years, when the normal teenager panic was amplified by the added bewilderment of his awakening homosexuality, Poole shares an intimate, self-effacing chronicle of a unique young boy and the forces that molded him into the grounded, articulate, charming oddball he is today. The real charm of the book lies in the authenticity of the humor. There is not one forced moment in the book, nor is there a stitch of disingenuous manipulation to get a cheap laugh or manufacture a setup to a joke. Each entertaining tidbit grows from the characters, their lives, their struggles and their unforgivably shameless honesty. This is the story of growing up as the exception, but learning to understand that if you’re lucky and have the right mix of crazy people in your life, being the exception can morph into being exceptional.

A witty, observant, deliciously satisfying autobiography.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-15655-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2010


NonfictionGIVING UP THE GHOST by Eric Nuzum
by Eric Nuzum