An experiment at being honest is this book. While names have been changed to protect the innocent, all stories are true. The book starts at the beginning and continues chronologically, highlighting bits and pieces of Bill Pope’s life that were chosen for their narrative characteristics. Bill attempts to examine and satirize important transitional periods in his life--from his humble beginnings growing up in Bridgewater, happy in his own simplistic world, to moving to his grandparents Berkeley Height home where he struggled to contend with the realities of his own limitations and a childhood friend that sporadically appears to get him into trouble.
Bill doesn’t retreat back into his overly-simplified world to protect himself, however, but instead decides to meet the world head on no matter how cruel it can be at times. He wants to achieve greatness and to make his parents proud but at the same time is afraid of failure and is, perhaps, a tad lazy as well. In the actual world people fail all the time despite their best efforts and Bill fails too, often in spectacular fashion.
As Bill moves from prepubescences to his teenaged years, he’s distracted by a healthy sex drive, a desire to be a rock musician, and a wish to find meaningful employment and the perfect work schedule. These are lofty goals to be sure; and especially for a kid that has yet to prove himself at an introductory level first. Humility may be some of what Bill lacks here; because, and while he wants to rise to great heights, is keen on dismissing some of the necessary intermediate step to achieve it.
Mixed in with humorous puns and storytelling, is a revealing glimpse into Bill’s thoughts on love, relationships, sex, ambition and music. If there was ever a book that attempted to examine the human condition of an average person’s life in interesting and surprising detail, this book is it.