Little Children, by Tom Perotta

I was excited to read this new book by Tom Perotta, who also wrote Election, which was eventually made into a movie starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. The movie was tremendously witty and biting and sharp — and very cynical.

So when I opened up Little Children and noticed right away that it deals basically with other folks that are my own age, dealing with growing up, and having kids, and ambivalence about jobs and all that stuff, I was optimistic. I tend to be a little bit jaded & cynical in my own life, so I found the little descriptions of pretty banal situations uncannily accurate and interesting. At the beginning of the book, I felt the same feeling I did when I read Microserfs — that it was exactly my life. But it started to go off track.

All in all, I find that the book was only okay. The first 100 pages or so is quite good; the last couple of hundred, though, tend to get a little bit repetitious and even more cynical than I was prepared to be. Don’t get me wrong — cynical is great when it’s funny — but when it’s not funny, it’s just sort of mean, and that’s where this book got to eventually.

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