A Few Seconds Of Radiant Filmstrip Just when you thought that everything that can be overcome already has been overcome in some memoir or other — war, poverty, illness, injustice, and… A Few Seconds Of Radiant Filmstrip Just when you thought that everything that can be overcome already has been overcome in some memoir or other — war, poverty, illness, injustice, and… 2014-04-01 Memoir Pantheon
Book Review

A Few Seconds Of Radiant Filmstrip (2014)

A FEW SECONDS OF RADIANT FILMSTRIP Kevin Brockmeier
A FEW SECONDS OF RADIANT FILMSTRIP Kevin Brockmeier
EW's GRADE
A-

Details Release Date: Apr 01, 2014; Writer: Kevin Brockmeier; Genre: Memoir; Publisher: Pantheon

Just when you thought that everything that can be overcome already has been overcome in some memoir or other — war, poverty, illness, injustice, and so on — Kevin Brockmeier dredges up the most traumatic hell ride of them all: seventh grade, in A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip.

Filmstrip is a funny, poignant oddity. (I'm referring to the book in shorthand, because the full title sounds like a Fiona Apple album.) Brockmeier writes about himself in the third person, which is fitting given his premise that you enter seventh grade an entirely different person than you exit it. The memoir may resonate best with folks in their early 40s, but there's something here for you as long as you remember being 12, having disloyal friends, and wondering when the opposite sex was going to discover how cool you were. The second half of Filmstrip loses some of its centrifugal force. But the prose is always a pleasure, and our little underdog hero is so likable that you're relieved just to be holding the book in your hands: It's proof that he turned out okay. A-

Originally posted Mar 26, 2014 Published in issue #1305 Apr 04, 2014 Order article reprints
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