REASON FOR LEAVING
Academy Chicago Pub
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"…youthful peccadilloes may cause many readers to squirm…"
"…covers eighteen years of angst…"
"…now he has found what he could do well."
Had J. D. Salinger continued Holden Caulfield’s story to include his next few years, his tale might have paralleled this one. Reading Manderino’s account of his youthful peccadilloes may cause many readers to squirm uncomfortably, remembering faults and foibles in their own unformed years.
REASON FOR LEAVING covers eighteen years of angst as the protagonist (i.e. Barney/Mr. Butthead/No Name) tries various ways to earn a living, while waiting to learn who and what he might become as he moves from altar boy to busboy to Zen Buddhist trainee to umpire and finally to writer. And now he has found what he could do well. His experimentation is over. He is a writer and humorist.
The uncommon reader who doesn’t identify with this poor “jackass of all trades” may feel free to ridicule him, thanks to his own perfectly blissful past (or more likely, his imperfect memory). The rest of us may laugh in relief that those days are behind us. But we will laugh.
Reviewer: Doris Lakey