|About the Book|
The novel and two stories in The Class of 49 take us from a Portland, Oregon, high school in 1949, through such memorable way stations as the Brookley Air Base Service Club in Mobile, Alabama, and Palace Billiards in San Francisco, to Sunset StripMoreThe novel and two stories in The Class of 49 take us from a Portland, Oregon, high school in 1949, through such memorable way stations as the Brookley Air Base Service Club in Mobile, Alabama, and Palace Billiards in San Francisco, to Sunset Strip and a Hollywood movie lot in the late sixties.In a sequence of short narratives the title novel portrays the triumphs and embarrassments of several students over the course of a single year. They are as different as Clyde Merriman, who had no particular ambitions but whose future is quickly decided when his girlfriend gets pregnant- the Maloney brothers, one the student body president, the other an outcast- Janet Salterlee, who trained for fifteen years to be Queen of the Rose Festival- Blaze Cooney, who attempts to write a novel- Anne Tressman, whose only interest is ballet- and Tommy German, the hanger-on, who tries desperately to meet girls on the seaside boardwalk—yet behind their fantasies and foibles lies a common rite of passage.One Pocket traces the fascination of a writer, stuck in the air force, with the game of pool. He discovers that on occasion he can shoot in a zone way over his head, a discovery at once exhilarating and alarming. Finally, in Glitter: A Memory, the writer, at work on a screenplay for a fading star, learns the lesson of Hollywood that things are not as they seem in a world of fantasy, deception, and calculated illusion.Comical, lively, and tender, The Class of 49 shows Don Carpenters voice to be one of the most vital in contemporary American writing.