Crash by Jerry Spinelli

Why is it every time I find myself able to use the computer, I am running out of time? I need to begin my 45 minute commute to class very soon… now, if possible.

Anyway, Jerry Spinelli is one of those people who has always been in my “should be my favorite author but always forgotten” list. His first book that I read was Stargirl, which I bought in hardcover, loved very much, and lost. Then I bought Loser, also in hardcover, also loved (although not as much as Stargirl), shipped to Malaysia from US with a box of other books, and never received. So I am Spinelli-less and Spinelli left my mind completely. Until that moment when I was walking from Roppongi Hills to Tokyo Midtown, and a moment of serendipity brought be to Aoyama Book Centre (ABC Books) which had a huge sale on foreign books. I saw Spinelli’s Maniac Magee first, but my sensei, who was with me at the time, suggested we go up to the shop and browse more. In the shop I found Crash, which I almost did not buy. I got it, together with Tim Burton`s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy for about 500 yen each. Then, in the train on the way home, I started to read Crash.

I think this is my favorite Spinelli so far. I may have to reread Stargirl before making a decision, and I`m told that Maniac Magee is better by at least two people, but that was my first impression. It doesn`t seem quite as surreal as Stargirl was, the narrative is more believable than the other books by Spinelli that I`ve read. Maybe because the main character here is a jock. Maybe because it doesn`t just concentrate on school and his relationship with Mike vs. his relationship with Penn. Maybe because he didn`t just change overnight, or because his character wasn`t simplified into someone more easily understood. Crash himself isn`t sure about what he really wants or what he really feels most of the time, and that makes him more… true, somehow.

So far the books I`ve read by Spinelli are basically about the same thing – being different. And told from the point of view of someone else. I am not in high school anymore, and I don`t suffer as much from the “three oranges and a pear, and you`re the pear” thing, but this book still felt important to me, something I have to read before I get too old to remember what it was like.

~ originally posted on blogspot


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