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21

Review

21

The rule in the Pi Alpha Kappa house is that on your twenty-first birthday you're supposed to do twenty-one shots. Even luckier for Poniente University junior Bret, a PAK, his twenty-first birthday is on the same day as the fraternity's biggest party in history. Every shot reveals a bit of Bret's inner self, the one that almost didn't make it to his California college because of feuding parents, or the one that resents being forced into an economics major.

As the night of Bret's twenty-first birthday moves from shots to kegs, he wanders from the fraternity house to freshman dorms to the no-man's-land of the Tech Quad. In the course of Bret's inebriated tour, he reflects on his past, how he got to where he is, what he really wants from life, and where he wants to go in the future.

If you like surrealism and college stereotypes, this is your book. The description that appears on the back of the book is misleading. Though it sounds like a fluffy party novel, Jeremy Iversen's writing is lyrical and introspective, if not a little meandering. His technique of linking one scene to another through common images works for about twenty-five pages, but then becomes annoying.

Both a cautionary tale and one of self-discovery, Bret's adventures on his twenty-first birthday…well, they're definitely long and strange, but it's an interesting trip nonetheless.

Reviewed by Carlie Webber on March 28, 2005

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by Jeremy Iversen

  • Publication Date: March 28, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • ISBN-10: 0689876238
  • ISBN-13: 9780689876233