Monday, January 12, 2009

P.F. Kluge's GONE TOMORROW Featured in The Weekly Standard

David Skinner takes a look at Gone Tomorrow, the new novel by P.F. Kluge in The Weekly Standard: "P.F. Kluge is an accomplished writer with a number of good books under his belt. Eddie and the Cruisers, which is being reissued by Overlook Press, is a delicate work about the jagged soul of rock 'n' roll music and the type of introverted writer who wants nothing more than to be its amanuensis. Biggest Elvis was another rock 'n' roll novel, an often riveting take on the U.S. military pullout from the Philippines, the exporting of American culture, and the adrenaline rush of stage performance. So Kluge remains affectionate toward the pop culture of his youth, but he has filed more than a few complaints about the kids of today. A professor who teaches writing and postwar American literature at Kenyon, he's used his perch in Gambier, Ohio, to observe and criticize the coddled American college student, whom he suggests would be much better off if his behind were kissed less often by administrators with dollar signs in their eyes and U.S. News & World Report rankings where their hearts used to be. Such thinking--in Alma Mater, his book on the life of a liberal arts college, and a rather tough essay entitled "Camp Kenyon" that appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education--has made Kluge a magnetic and yet crotchety character at the school of which he is both a critic and an old friend. . . Gone Tomorrow is thoroughly pleasurable: a solid academic comedy; a moving consideration of what it means to join a community and say, despite reservations, Here is Where I Belong; and a warm thank-you note to writers famous and forgotten for the reader's reward of a good lean book."

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