I love Jack Gantos! This guy is seriously brilliant! If you’ve ever read anything by him, or read any of his reviews you know what I mean.
As such a hilarious and creative author it’s no surprise that I couldn’t put down his latest novel – Dead End in Norvelt. Gantos tells the story of Norvelt – an odd town filled with an equally strange cast of characters – and the summer young Jack Gantos (yes, as in the author, although not in the typical biographical sense) was “grounded for life” for accidently firing an old Japanese rifle. None the less, he still managed to spend enough time outside of his room to go on unfortunate adventure after unfortunate adventure. From helping his father re-build an airplane much to the chagrin of his mother, to impersonating the grim reaper after breaking into the house of one of the older citizens of Norvelt. Somehow Gantos managed to combine a chapter of hell bent Hells Angel (sorry, for the crummy pun), a crazy halfway-to-her-grave woman, a series of seemingly random deaths, and the antics of a small town. Part semi-autobiographical, part historical, mainly funny, a little bit of mystery, and just plain weird.
I suggest you pick this book up, open to the first page, begin reading, laugh, and then repeat until you’ve finished the book.