About a year ago, I read Christopher Meeks’ collection of short stories, Months and Seasons, and I found myself swept up in the stories. When I got the opportunity to read his first novel, The Brightest Moon of the Century, I knew I was in for a treat. Edward is a pretty typical guy, but he manages to turn very ordinary experiences into an extraordinary story. The writing is exceptional, with interesting turns of phrase that left me laughing but nodding my head in agreement or commisseration.
This is how a life together ends. With a pork chop and then a click.
Edward is a bit of a drifter — he drifts through high school, he drifts through college. He knows he wants to make movies, but he doesn’t seem to have a clear picture of how to make that happen. We see snippets of Edward’s life — from high school to film school, from a trailer park in Alabama to the movie business. It’s a life that takes several very unexpected turns. He doesn’t always make the right call; in fact, he is often way off base, but I found his observations and his cluelessness funny and familiar. He’s looking for love, but things never seem to work out the way he plans.
“Do you speak Spanish?” she asked.
“Supermercado,” he said. ”Escuela de bailar.”
She smiled. ”And what are some words in Minnesotan?”
“Smorgasbord,” he said. ”Beer. Live bait.” ....
Throughout the story, Edward has his own take on things and he always made me smile. It was difficult for me to to sum up the book; the writing is excellent, the characters are charming and authentic, and I found myself thinking over and over “you really have to read it.” And I hope you will.
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