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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You – by Peter Cameron

April 23, 2009

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To YouI was actually surprised by how much I liked this book. I didn’t expect to dislike it, but I also didn’t expect it to be so rich and original. There isn’t a lot of action, and the story is mostly told in stream-of-consciousness style, but every sentence is well thought-out and interesting, with truly delectable language.

James Sveck is 18 and only months away from starting college, but he’d rather buy a house in the mid-West and avoid college altogether. He’s intelligent and opinionated, but he doesn’t know how to relate to other people very well, especially people his own age. As he struggles with this and tries to figure out what the next step in his life is going to be, we experience all his insights into the world and his difficulty fitting into it. He’s far from perfect but almost painfully real. At times, I could see elements of myself in James and at other times, we couldn’t have been more different but I loved every minute.

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