So, wherever you came from, whichever way you swing,
whatever is standing in your way, just remember:
You’re bigger than that. Like the man said:
You contain multitudes.
— from Lawn Boy
a novel by Jonathan Evison
This semi-autobiographical story is packed with angst, anger, and the ingredients of real life: race, class, snark and smiles.
“What I wanted was a book written by a guy who worked as a landscaper or a cannery grunt or a guy who installed heating vents," says Mike Muñoz, the 22-year-old protagonist who mows lawns and imagines his life as an author. "Something about modern class struggle in the trenches. Something plainspoken, without all the shiver-thin coverlets of snow and all the rest of that luminous prose. Something that didn’t have a pretentious quote at the beginning from some old geezer poet that gave away the whole point of the book. Something that didn’t employ the ‘fishbowl lens’ or a ‘prismatic narrative structure’ or any of that crap they teach rich kids out in the cornfields.”
Thankfully, Lawn Boy cuts a fresh tale, true to life with hints of hope.