SOUP'S DRUM by Robert Newton Peck


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Love sets the band playing and the fireworks flying in Peck's latest cornball reminiscence, which starts with a kissing game at Rob and Soup's first party. County nurse Miss Boland organizes the band when she hears that Italian dreamboat Romeo Farina and his French horn will be coming to town for the 4th of July. Meanwhile Soup has become smitten with Juliet Rapture, the new girl at school. When she joins the band so does he, banging on the huge drum which Rob must march carrying, strapped to his back. The big joke seems to be that Rob expects to impress his girl with the drum, but at the parade everyone oohs and ahs over what they naturally see as Soup's drum, ignoring Rob's part in the undertaking. Soup meddles with the fireworks so that the big display proclaims his love for Juliet instead of the company ad; the band, unsurprisingly, sounds ""more like a factory than a band""; Peck stages the predictable pile-up during the parade; and he throws in the usual hayseed jokes and silly arguments between childish adults. But after a few weak pops and sputters, the big event just fizzles out. A dud.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1980
Publisher: Knopf