Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer
by Brian Sweany
From the Writer's Coffe Shop:
Hank Fitzpatrick's life is what you might expect from a man-child stumbling his way through and beyond adolescence in the late 1980's in small town Indiana: hypersexual, drunk, stoned, prone to fits of spontaneous masturbation, occasionally Catholic, and accidentally well-intentioned. His life is in perpetual conflict as he confuses sex for love, heartache for passion, desperation for honesty, and abuse for affection.
Caught in a crossfire of raging hormones, bad decisions and family tragedy, Hank is just a boy not yet ready to be a man. And like many boys growing up, Hank is desperate to impress his father. The impossibly perfect patriarch of the family, John Fitzpatrick decides at age forty-two he wants to have a vasectomy reversal. Is Hank ready to be a brother again at age seventeen? What about his mother's narcotics and gimlet-soaked uterus? A child will come of this, but not without consequences.
Laura is Hank's first true love. From their stolen nights together as high-school sweethearts to their final encounter as twentysomething adults, they never figure out how to stop hurting one another. Beth, the girl who loves Hank unconditionally, can only wait for so long before longing turns to regret. But everything will be okay as long as Hank's best friend Hatch is there to help him exorcise his demons with a half-gallon of bourbon and a bottle of cough syrup.
Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is more than just a tribute to the last uninhibited pre-9/11, pre-Facebook generation. It's a comedy. It's a tragedy. It's a love story. It's a subversive yet empathetic, wart-and-all portrait rooted in real-life that kids will read behind their parents' backs. And if somewhere along the way we can all share in the redemptive power of a belly dancer's love... well, that's okay too.
Hank Fitzpatrick is a typical male teen: confused, selfish, and horny. He's annoyed by the fact that his parents are trying desperately to have another child, at the same time he's completely preoccupied with his own sexuality. He's kinda Catholic, even thought it's mostly his parents idea. But mostly Hank is just trying to get the hang of this whole life thing.
Hank is an extremely likable character, a really good guy. He loves with his whole heart. He's suffered and triumphed, fallen down and gotten back up. He's the underdog, but not a victim.
Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer is entertaining. The story flows like an 80's flick. I could totally see this on the silver screen, starring none other than Anthony Michael Hall as Hank (of course). Brian Sweany did a great job of making the story true to its era.
I give this book:
Exotic Music of the Belly Dancer can be purchased at the Writer's Coffee Shop.
Be sure to visit Brian Sweany's official website for news on the upcoming sequel, Making out with Blowfish.
Visit the other stops on the tour:
April 24 - Sandi Layne
April 25 - Outnumbered 3-1
April 26 - My Reading Lounge
April 27 - Fantasy-link
April 28 - Writer on the Verge
April 29 - Fresh Fiction
April 30 - NK Smith Writes
May 1 - Sherri Hays
May 2 - Michelle Birbeck
May 3 - Sydney Logan
I received a free eBook copy of this book in exchange for this review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.