THE WAMPANAKI TALES by James Howard Kunstler


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Most grown-ups would probably just as soon forget their pre-adolescent summer camp experiences; but for those boys'-camp alumni who are capable of waxing nostalgic over frenched beds, cherry bombs, or the first time they learned the double meaning of ""pussy,"" Kunstler has assembled a loosely connected series of vignettes from a summer at Camp Wampanaki in New Hampshire, circa 1962. The counselors are usually off getting drunk, of course--when they're not copulating with the camp nurse in the woods. And the kids meanwhile are practicing dirty words, figuring out about sex, torturing each other, getting scared by ghost stories, going on revolting nature trips, dressing up as Indians, playing hard at Color War, and--the one fairly surprising incident--being taken to a disgusting strip-show (with audience participation) by a raunchy counselor. After the summer, one of the kids sums up the season as ""Just the same old jerks doin' the same old thing""--and that's exactly what this is; neither sensitively observant enough to engage real interest nor wackily inventive enough to inspire more than, at most, a small rueful smile or a slight turning of the stomach.

Pub Date: May 11th, 1979
Publisher: Doubleday