Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher

Crutcher, Chris. 1991. Athletic Shorts. New York: Greenwillow Books.

Athletic Shorts is a collection of six short stories, five of them feature characters from Crutcher's other books and one (the first one) is an original short story that appeared in Connections by Don Gallo. Each story is prefaced with a note from the author that gives some background on the story or tells why he chose that particular character to expand upon with a short story.

I love how Chris Crutcher doesn't shy away from the realities of life. His characters are well-developed and often based on real people or real situations. Also, his humor appeals to me - just the title alone Athletic "Shorts" cracks me up! The majority of the characters here have been in his other novels, but that isn't a restriction; you don't have to have read the other novels to enjoy this book. These stories are able to stand on their own. His themes in this book have great appeal for young adults and adults alike and range from racism to insecurity to father-son friction. He is dynamic on delivering the feelings of the young adult male and yet making the stories approachable for the female reader too. If anything, Athletic Shorts will give you a taste making you want to get to know the characters better through the books that feature them.

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