Thursday, May 05, 2005

I'm two books behind because of a work conference this week. So. First one is Satellite Down by Rob Thomas. (I'll understand if you're getting sick of the Rob Thomas love and assure you there is only one book of his left for me to read.) It's the story of a small town high school student who wants to be a journalist. He gets picked to be a student reporter on a kids cable news program that airs in schools and convinces his conservative parents to let him move to Los Angeles to work on the show but finds he was only picked for his looks and spirals down into the stereotypical big city vices: sex, drugs, vanity, stardom, etc. I had problems with the seemingly effortless way he convinced his parents to let him go and his fall from grace seemed too abrupt and out of character for what was supposedly a smart kid. Not to mention that the Big Bad City was portrayed as the defiler of all that is good and holy of Small Town Middle America. Give me a break. And then there's a tacked on adventure in Ireland where Patrick ditches his news crew and hides out in a small village for a while. By the end he's been stomped on again and the last we see of him he seems to have lost all his ambitions and interests. There was some stuff I liked - the satire of the newsroom and the producers of the show was interesting and I wish the book had explored that instead of becoming a heavy handed portrait of self-destructive behavior or a morality tale about how conservative Christian parents know best. That's not the Rob Thomas I know and love. Pretty disappointing.

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