Summer of ’42

summer-of-42

Title:  Summer of ’42

Author: Herman Raucher

Publisher:  Diversion Publishing

ISBN: 1626818894

About the author: from http://www.hermanraucher.com/

Herman Raucher began his writing career during The Golden Age of Live Television, penning original one hour dramas for such esteemed shows as Studio One, Goodyear Playhouse and The Alcoa Hour. At about the same time, he was serving as Advertising Copy Director for Walt Disney whose new company, Buena Vista, was venturing from animated films into live action productions. It was also the time of the debut of Disneyland and all the excitement that came with it.

Back in New York he served as Creative Director and Board Member of several major ad agencies.  To further fill out his life he turned his pen to writing four plays, six novels and seven films, among them being “Summer of ’42” which was both a best-selling novel and a box office success.  It earned him an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Screenplay as well as a similar nomination from The Writers Guild of America. Raucher’s cult film, “Hieronymus Merkin,” won the Best Original Screenplay award from The Writers Guild of Great Britain.  His racially charged movie, “Watermelon Man,” shook up the film critics no small end.

He still feels most at home with novels, in that no one can change as much as a comma without his approval—a condition that every writer savors but very few achieve.

Plot— 

in 1970, Hermie goes back to Packett Island to revisit that summer of 1942, 15-year-old Hermie has sex with a neighbor and military widow of a man killed in WWII named Dorothy.

he liked Blondie and couldn’t stand to see her with Dagwood

In Everyone’s Life There Is A Summer Of ’42…
In that particular summer Hermie was fifteen, wildly obsessed with sex, deeply and passionately in love with an “older woman” of twenty-two. Summer of ’42 is the story of Hermie and the lovely Dorothy, of Hermie’s frantic efforts to become a man, and of his glorious and heartbreaking initiation into sex.” (Goodreads)

fun take and nostalgic twist on the awkward teenage boy, his friends, and his sexual inexperience.

Hermie: “My father says the war’ll be over before I’m old enough. So I’m not going.”

“”Oscy’s voice. “I swear, Hermie, I don’t know what’s come over you. That’s a very old person. I don’t see the attraction.” ” (she was in her early twenties, that’s how young they are!)

And there was a thunder going on in his heart, so you can imagine what was going on in his privates.”

“I don’t wear stockings in the summer. ”

“That’s very patriotic.” (Dorothy and Hermie conversing, stockings have something to do with the war effort)

there are song lyrics of the time peppered throughout the book

Hermie and his two friends are obsessed with sex.

“Do you mean contraceptives?” “Right.” The old bastard caught on fast. “You want to buy some?” “Right.” “What for?” What for? The guy had to be some kind of fuddy-duddy nincompoop. Hermie delivered a half-smile, as if he and the old codger were school chums. “Come on, you know what for.” He buried his face in the ice cream because the heat of his hand was causing the strawberry shit to run down his wrist. The trick was to not look at his opponent. “

The druggist was giving Hermie a hard time about buying condoms, asking how old her was, what he was going to do with them. Gack!!!

Very few young men on the island ever got beyond boob, even though, if you listened to their stories, they were getting laid more often than the ancient horny Romans.”

Critical Evaluation—

Reader’s Annotation—

Genre— coming-of-age

Curriculum Ties— 

Booktalking Ideas–

Reading Level/Interest Age— 16+

Challenge Issues—

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