Spooner – Pete Dexter

spoonerFrom the beginning, Spooner was difficult.  When he was born in the back office of a rural doctor’s office along with his twin who died, it was difficult even in the best of situations back in 1956.  Even after the birth, she has even thought of it being the other way around, Spooner should have died and the twin that did should have lived.

Completely opposite from his older sister Spooner was always getting into trouble.  From the break-ins at the neighbours next door with the theft of cheese, and then urinating in a pair of shoes then placing the shoes in the freezer ( yes, you can laugh) in the middle of the night undetected.  His mother had just about enough of him, and started dating a man.  His name was Calmer.

Calmer for the most part was a loner, quiet, inquisitive, smart.  He was enlisted in the Navy when one day while burying a former member of the Navy which all goes so horribly wrong; he is discharged and off on his own.

Spooner’s mother and Calmer start dating and eventually marry.  Calmer has always taken Spooner under his care and tried to show him time and time again the right way of doing things, but then again Spooner hasn’t always been the sharpest tool in the shed.  But when it came to sports – football, baseball, he was fantastic.  After being signed to play ball after high school and being seriously injured he had to stop his sports career and start anew….well, in a different place anyways.

Eventually, Spooner becomes a reporter for newspapers, and carves out a bit of a niche for himself, he isn’t a great one, but, he does as well as he can.

I think in all honesty, Spooner was one of those boys where not just one thing clicked with him.  It was a multitude of things racing around his head not knowing where or what he would do next.  His father died shortly after he was born and then Calmer entered the picture;  taking over what his real father never really had a chance to achieve given the short life.  Calmer was the patient, caring one who had Spooner’s best interests at heart.  But in the end, was Calmer just tired out from the antics? Wondering if it ever got through to him? Some have said or even if you look at the Author’s bio at the end of the book, it has some striking similarities to what the book was all about.  Somewhat true elements about both Spooner and the author?

You make your own assumptions…

Listen to excerpts


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