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Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 13 years, 3 months ago

7 May 2005 INVISIBLE by Pete Hautman, Simon & Schuster, June 2005, ISBN: 0-689-86800-6



Oh trouble set me free

I have seen your face

And it's too much too much for me


Oh trouble can't you see

You're eating my heart away

And there's nothing much left of me"

--Cat Stevens, "Trouble"


Pete Hautman's INVISIBLE is going to make for one hot booktalk.


"My full and proper name is Douglas MacArthur Hanson. I am named after Douglas MacArthur, the famous general, who was a second cousin of my father's great-aunt. Everyone on my father's side is named after some famous person we are supposedly related to. My father's name is Henry Clay Hanson. Henry Clay was a politician who died before the Civil War. He was my grandfather's cousin's great-uncle. Or something like that. It goes on and on. Since my grandfather's name was George Washington Hanson, I guess I'm related to the father of our country too. Anyway, I'm glad I got named after a general instead of a politician. I think it makes me sound more respectable.

"Usually when I meet someone for the first time, I tell them my full and proper name. Then I say, 'But you can call me General.' Some people find this amusing. Andy always laughs. Sometimes he calls me General, just to tease me. I don't mind. I kind of like it. I am very easy to get along with.

"My mother would not agree with that. She finds me difficult. In fact, she thinks that I am troubled and disturbed. I find it troubling that she finds me disturbing, so she must be right.



In a spectacular and tense piece of writing that recalls my favorite Cormier novel, I AM THE CHEESE, but with the strings pulled even tighter, Pete Hautman has created a disturbingly real character whose troubled life will cause you nightmares.


" 'Haven't I seen you somewhere in hell,

or was it just an accident?' "

--Jimi Hendrix, "My Friend"


Dougie is a loner who is thoroughly obsessed with the model train world he has created in the basement, with numbers and order, and with the beautiful Melissa Haverman. His best friend and next door neighbor, the popular Andy Morrow, is both a drama kid and the star quarterback on the football team.


"And it's burn baby burn

When am I going to get my turn?"

--Bruce Cockburn, "Burn"


"Do I strike you as troubled?

"Let me give you some facts and figures. I am seventeen years old. I am a junior at Fairview Central. I have never skipped school and I have a 3.4 grade point average. I do not use drugs or alcohol. I have never been seriously ill. I have never broken a bone, lost a limb, or had an organ removed. I am scrupulously honest, except for necessary lies. I sleep well at night. I am not a loner. I have a best friend."


Do NOT believe him.


And do NOT start reading INVISIBLE if you have to be anywhere important in the next couple of hours.


Richie Partington




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