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2010 – Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance 1973, by John Barnes

January 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 5, 1973: The first day of Karl Shoemaker’s senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl’s been part of what he calls “the Madman Underground”—a group of kids forced (for no apparent reason) to attend group therapy during school hours. Karl has decided that senior year is going to be different. He is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act—and be—Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has five after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.

Post links to reviews of or your thoughts on this book in the comments.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. leftik permalink
    January 3, 2011 2:52 pm

    It’s now been a considerable amount of time since I read Madman and my lingering thought on it is that I liked it. My initial thoughts on it were mixed (as seen on my review up on The Re-Shelf), but in the long-run it has come out in the “like” column.

    I still think it is CRAZY long with a lot of exposition, but both the heart of the story (friendship) and the character development was so well done.

  2. July 11, 2011 3:56 pm

    Sigh**** Just rereading my review reminded me how much I love this book. It is set in the 1970s, when I was in high school, it has a quirky cast of characters, my favorite being Karl, the guy I wish was my best friend. Love this book. It tied for my favorite of 2010 with Going Bovine.

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