A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade (Compact Disc)
Brockmeier's memoir opens two days before the start of his seventh grade year, in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1985. You'll be instantly transported back to the growing pains of junior high through his truly radiant descriptions. Brockmeier captures it all: from magnanimous teachers to friends suddenly turned adversaries, from the heavy sounds of the corridors to slang overheard on the carpool ride home, right down to the taste of Kevin's favorite snack foods after the final bell. Not one thing about his recollections feels artificial--each detail is treated with the care of getting it exactly right. I couldn't help but admire Kevin's unflagging, sometimes cringe-worthy commitment to his own sense of self--although more from recognition than sympathy. We witness first-hand his budding self-awareness; he's always just a tiny step behind in deciphering that line between current socially-acceptable behavior, and what'll invariably lead to savage ridicule. My favorite part of the book comes approximately halfway through, during a particularly dark hour in Kevin's school year. For a single chapter Brockmeier takes a fantastic dip into fantasy, giving both readers and our protagonist a glimpse into his future. Is the author providing his past self reassurance, or us? Either way, it reminds you to take hope. You survived the seventh grade, and Kevin will too. The honest, uplifting ending will leave you reflective, and maybe even a little relieved to be an adult.— EMMY'S STAFF PICKS
A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip follows twelve-year-old Kevin Brockmeier over the course of a single school year as he sets out in search of himself: losing old friends and gaining new ones, happening into his first kiss, writing plays and stories, dressing as Dolly Parton for Halloween, booby-trapping his lunch to deter a thief. With the same deep feeling and oddly dreamlike precision that are the hallmarks of his fiction, Brockmeier now explores the dream of his own past, recovering the person he used to be, the friends he had, the hopes he nurtured, the doubts he hid, the secrets he kept, the books he read - everything that was once his life.