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Saturday, February 23, 2019

SAG HARBOR: A NOVEL (audiobook) by Colson Whitehead

Published in 2009 by Random House Audio.
Narrated by Mirron Willis
Duration: 11 hours, 17 minutes.

The author, Colson Whitehead.
It is 1985. Benjie Cooper and his brother are spending the summer at the resort town of Sag Harbor, New York. This Long Island resort town is actually two resort towns - one white and one black. The Coopers are part of a very close-knit African American community of New York City professionals that started their part of Sag Harbor two generations earlier.

During the summers, families head out on the weekends and older kids are often left out in Sag Harbor for the summer. Benjie and his brother are in high school and a group of high school boys hang out together all summer. Benjie is desperate to be cool (being on Dungeons and Dragons-playing Star Wars fan doesn't help - take it from a kid who was both in high school at the same time).

They get summer jobs, they hit the beach, they look for girls, they try to get into concerts at local night clubs, they get BB guns and shoot each other, they explore, identify houses that were undoubtedly haunted, avoid doing laundry until way after it starts to smell and other typical teenage boy things. Also, they desperately want to figure out what makes girls tick.

...and that is pretty much the plot of the book. I listened to it as an audiobook, and Mirron Willis' narration was well done. But, there is no real plot to the book. There are hints of family strife that never are explained. There are hints that some of the boys go on to do great things and some end up in jail or worse. There's not even a "where are they now?" epilogue at the end of the book. It starts right after Memorial Day and ends at Labor Day - almost like the world's longest "What I did over the summer" essay.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: Sag Harbor: A Novel by Colson Whitehead.


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