The Adventures of Blue Avenger - Norma Howe

The SSN, as it is called, is thrown on front sidewalks, lawns, driveways, or roofs of 30,444 residences in the greater Tulsa area every Wednesday afternoon, where it lies around for several days before being tossed into the nearest garbage can or trash pile, accompanied by phrases like "Oh, this stupid paper again!" and "What a nuisance!" and, from the truly perplexed, "There should be a law against scattering this *#%! all over the neighborhood!"

David Schumacher, for reasons unknown, decided on his sixteenth birthday to change his name to Blue Avenger, a comic-book character he had drawn as a child. Strangely enough, things start happening in his life: he becomes famous, starts dating Omaha Nebraska Brown (a kindred spirit), and pretty much transforms into the hero of San Pablo High School.

It's a very bizarre book, filled with little factoids (the one above is a personal favorite because those advertising circulars are one of my pet peeves) and side-remarks to the reader. It reminds me a little bit of the narrator in the movie "Stranger than Fiction": "Every weekday, for twelve years, Harold would brush each of his thirty-two teeth seventy-six times. Thirty-eight times back and forth, thirty-eight times up and down." (And so on.) There's also a tiny hint of Douglas Adams in the super-omniscient narrator, explaining things that nobody could possibly know.

A major theme throughout the book is the conundrum of free will versus fate. Most of Blue's class at school believes in free will; Omaha is the only one who strongly believes in fate; Blue himself is undecided on the matter, and performs experiments in attempts to settle the matter. It's an interesting approach, tackling a weighty and serious issue in a lighthearted book.

I found it in the young adult section of rotating books at the library, and would recommend it for somebody looking for something a bit different.

Fed to jonathan's brain | August 20, 2008 | Comments (0)


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