Sunday, May 02, 2010

[Misspent Youth] Three Steps Forward, Two Back

Three Steps Forward, Two Back: I continue to find myself at the start of the end game for Misspent Youth. I have seen the first version of the formatted pdf -- with pages appearing as they will in the final book, not as a Word doc. The formatting is a disaster. Also, in re-reading it if final layout I've noticed a bunch of things I don't like, including stuff beyond copy edits, so I'm back in minor revision mode. None of this is unexpected. It's just a matter effort and diligence to get through it.

Anyway, here is the first draft of the long description -- what you will see as the description presented by booksellers and probably, with some slight variation, what will appear on the back cover.
David Mazzotta's third novel continues his comic exploration of the benign absurdity of normal life. His first, Apple Pie, looked at questions of identity and ethnicity in a college setting. The second, Business As Usual, took on topics of mortality and fortune amidst a corporate meltdown. Painting with his broadest brush yet, Misspent Youth presents an interconnected ensemble of all ages meandering through a few months of daily life in a leafy suburban community.

Billy, a weary lothario, is taking the plunge into standard domestic life -- although it's not really a plunge, more of a toe-by-toe wade into the shallow end. This tentative behavior is the source of great anxiety to Marlene, his do-it-all, single-mom girlfriend. Her impossibly precocious but behaviorally troubled daughter, Missy, is a concern for both of them.

Billy's life gets entangled with other denizens of the neighborhood veldt. Adults indulging their half-understood impulses; children bent by the burdens of the world. Without a native's understanding of communal norms and manners, Billy shuffles and sidesteps through carnal temptations, civil disobedience, and outright criminality before finding his place, sort of.

Misspent Youth lovingly satirizes the happy desperation of 21st century middle America.
You just can't wait, can you?