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Weaver, Will. Full service.

WEAVER, Will. Full service. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 232p. c2005. 0-374-32485-9. $1700. JS

Weaver returns to the farm country of rural Minnesota (familiar to readers of the Billy Baggs Trilogy--Striking Out, Farm Team, and Hard Ball) for this story of a farm boy working in town one summer, the summer he turns 16. Weaver is a professor of English and his carefully polished vignettes about Paul and the people he meets this summer--the characters at the gas station where he works, the hippies camped on Paul's family farm, the convict who helps out his parents to make up for Paul's absence--quietly pull in the reader. In the quiet there is humor, absurdities, pathos, and the full-range of adolescent angst. Not only is Paul at the beginning of the summer a shy, naive farm boy, his family are members of an extremely rigid fundamentalist church; by the end of the summer, it is expected that he will be baptized as a full member. Instead, he makes out with the hippies' daughter, wonders about the ethics of a loveable gangster who frequents the gas station, witnesses a series of petty crimes and betrayals, abandons his Bible reading, gets his driver's license, and begins to think about the world beyond his little town. The setting is the 1960s, at the time of the Vietnam War, but similar experiences could be happening this summer to another boy in an isolated small town, wondering about the Iraq War. Claire Rosser, KLIATT

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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