THE TESTING OF CHARLIE HAMMELMAN by Jerome Brooks

THE TESTING OF CHARLIE HAMMELMAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The kind of kid who wears his neuroses on his sleeve, Brooks' hero starts telling all from page one of this innocuous first-person confessional. And long before his one-time visit to a shrink, we know all about what's bugging seventeen-year-old Charlie--the fact that his mother stays glued to the tube to avoid thinking about her salesman husband's ""extra-curricular activities""; that his understanding science teacher, Miss Kaplan, has just died; that he has yet to kiss his steady girl, Shirl Darner; and--worst of all--that sooner or later Charlie will have to take swimming (a requirement to graduate) and withstand the humiliation of parading his naked and very chubby body before all the ""mesomorphic jocks."" Spilling his heart out at Miss K's grave helps a little, but it's a summer weekend with Shirl who's a camp counselor that really makes a new man of Charlie. With the help of his super-supportive girl (her every line seems lifted from one of those be-your-own-best-friend books), Charlie learns to make out, row a boat, splash around in a motel pool, and view his corpulent self with something akin to respect. Except for frantic, self-deprecating, and occasionally funny Charlie, all the characters here are thin and without substance, and as far as teen heavyweight comedies go, the scales are tipped way in favor of Lipsyte's One Fat Summer

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1977
ISBN: 059509435X
Publisher: Dutton