Thursday, May 5, 2011

"The After Life" by Daniel Ehrenhaft


"I do," Will said. He tried to ignore the curious stares. So. The family reunion was complete. Mental note: Start taking meds again. Also, ask Dr. Brown why brain always short-circuits anad makes me talk like a retard during "major turning points."
"Hey, sorry about your uncle," Kyle said. He grinned. "So, you wanna get laid?"
"What?"

Will Shepherd is screwed up. He's only 19, and he's an alcoholic. He's a dropout, a druggie, and he has the liver of a 49 year old man. He doesn't even have his drivers license. When he and his mom move uptown, he begins going to school again... the same school his half sister, Liz, goes to.
One night (incidentally the night after a giant party at Will's dad's mansion), Will's dad, Forrest Shepherd III, dies, leaving not only a ton of money to Liz and Kyle (they're twins), but a smaller sum to Will.

The thing is though, to get the money, Will has to drive to New York from Florida, where the funeral was held, in less than 48 hours.

When Kyle and Liz offer to drive him there in exchange for the promise that they will never see him again, he accepts, and all three are thrown into a bizarre adventure which will reveal truths that are both shocking, and not altogether unwelcome.

In a lot of ways, she was pretty much everything her twin brother was too. Maybe the superstition was false: maybe there wasn't a "good" twin or an "evil" twin. Maybe all twins were evil. They did have weird psychic powers, after all.

I liked this book. It was funny, cute, and I loved all of the characters. (Actually, if I had to choose one I didn't like so much, it'd be Liz.) The plot was original, though I guessed the plot twist at the end about half way through the book. Oh well. You can't have everything.

The things I'd warn people about this book though, would be the drugs, sex, and alcohol. Will is pretty much always either high or drunk, there are definitely mentions of sex in the book, there is a TON of drug usage (I mean, hey, the dad is a hippie), oh, and everyone swears a lot.

Other than that, though, this was an awesome book. It was a fast read (I got through it in a couple hours), and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a good/amusing read, but who isn't going to be offended by underage drinking, or illegal drug usage in literature.

1 comment:

Meg said...

I've had this one in my bookcase for a while and have been meaning to read it -- sounds promising!