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INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN

Canty, Kevin

368 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0385473885 / ISBN 13: 9780385473880
Published by Doubleday, New York, 1996
Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN

Publisher: Doubleday, New York

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Softcover

Edition: First Edition; First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Building on the success of A Stranger in This World, the widely praised collection of stories that was one of the most exciting literary debuts of recent years, Kevin Canty has written a blistering, unforgettable first novel. Set in the sprawl of suburbia, with its shattered families and hollow lives, Into the Great Wide Open is the story of two young people fleeing their families' emotional abandonment to find refuge in each other.

Smart but scarred, Kenny Kolodny yearns to awake from the nightmare of his smashed-up family: his mother is in an institution and forever away; his father is an abusive alcoholic; his brother lives abroad. Seventeen and alone, he hangs on the periphery of his world, until he makes a passionate connection with the troubled, beautiful, fiercely independent Junie Williamson. Kenny discovers in their highly charged, intensely erotic relationship a reality--and a capacity for caring--he has not known before.

In prose startling for its diamond-hard edges and bravura lyricism, Kevin Canty revives the heady carnival of adolescence, evoking its confusing emotional landscape and its heightened sensuality, too soon lost. Into the Great Wide Open is a haunting, mesmerizing novel by a writer of deep sensitivity and undeniable talent.

Review:

Opposites attract in this story of young lovers who find that they aren't so opposite at all. A religious youth retreat serves as the meeting place for 17-year-olds Kenny Kolodny and Junie Williamson. Kenny's mother is a mental patient and his father is a raging alcoholic. Junie's are successful professionals. While Kenny is a pot smoker who lives in a filthy apartment and drives a beat-up station wagon, Junie lives in a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the suburbs and drives a bright red Honda Accord. But Junie has seen her own hard times and has just returned from a stay in a psychiatric hospital. The two find they share many of the same insecurities, doubts, and troubles, and as they struggle with feelings of detachment from the world, they create a safe place in which to cross into adulthood together.

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