Friday, December 27, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Chat - Summer of '42

From the ArmChair Squid: 
“The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.”

Summer of '42 by Herman Raucher

Hermie is fifteen, too young to join in the war effort and too old to be counted a kid. He is one of a gang of three boys whose families take a vacation in the summer at Nantucket Island. They run with the sun and wind and dream of days when they are treated as adults.

This summer is the turning point for them. Girls, dating, and an experience that changes Hermie forever. 

Love and war touches him and the hurt from both feels nearly the same.

Summer of ’42 was the movie everyone wanted to see in 1971. I stood in a line to watch the film that stretched down the block and around the corner. 

Herman Raucher wrote the script for the movie first then wrote the book, definitely not the norm. It became a runaway best seller. Funny, realistic, it is a self-portrait of Mr. Raucher’s experience that summer, his coming-of-age. 

A few years ago, I found the book in the bargain section at a book fair. For a dollar, I got a pristine, hardback with a dust cover, a most excellent deal.

What I found so amazing about the author, was the simple, indirect words that he used when describing the sex scene. I don’t care for a play-by-play of intimate moments. I like it left to my imagination. This book is the epitome of how to convey the act without making it an instruction book on intercourse.

I didn't realize until I re-read the book for this post that I employ the same tactic when I describe physical love. 

Although I highly recommend this book, it isn't easy to find. Out of print and ignored, it lingers in places other than Amazon. I suggest the library, garage sales, and book fairs.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I'm always looking for a solid boy-centered coming -of-age story and I'm a huge fan of cast-off books in general, so I've got a mental note about it.

  2. It's snowing on your blog!

    Digging up an out-of-print treasure is always fun. I appreciate your thoughts on the description of intimacy - "instruction book on intercourse" made me snicker.

  3. I love hearing stories of hard to find books or movies that really sing to one's heart. I know I have a few that most have never heard of. Thanks for introducing me to The Summer of '42! :)

  4. Okay, now I want to read this! I love books during this time period and the difficulty in finding it today only makes me want to track it down and read it. I think I want to see the movie too...Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've heard of this many times but have never read it - your post makes me want to track it down now. Heading to my library website and hoping they have it. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I seem to have heard of the movie, but not the book.

  7. I remember the movie but did not know about the book Great idea to post on Friday...have made a note.

  8. What a great review of an obscure little gem! I've never heard of the book (or movie).

  9. I haven't heard of the movie or book either - thanks for the review. I'm gonna add it to my TBR. I did find it on Amazon but for ridiculous prices - guess it really is a rarity. :) Such a pity there's no ebook version.

  10. I never read the book but I saw the movie; it was sad.

  11. I remember my mother being a big fan of the movie...I never knew what it was about...

  12. The title sounded familiar, but I haven't seen the movie or read the book. It sounds like a good read, too bad so many books go out of print and become so hard to fine.

  13. I dimly remember seeing the movie in the mid 70s (probably on TV). It's very famous, and it's really too bad that it's out of print and hard to find. Especially sad when you consider the thousands of books that are drek and are uploaded onto Amazon, Smashwords, etc.

    I'm wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2014!

  14. I may be confusing this with another story, but think I have seen the film, wasn't aware of the book though, it does indeed look like a gem. Got a nice secondhand book store in my town, just the sort of place to dig up gems! :-)


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