I would highly recommend that you read the full Catapult review - c'mon, clicketty-click, it's not far away. All the answers are there.
RFoC - the third novel by Jonathan Evison, author of last year's #2 Catapult Notable, West of Here - is a fantastic mix of hilarity and general buffoonery tossed with the profundity of grief and a minivan full of raw emotion. Ben Benjamin has lost everything - his home, his job, his wife, his kids, his friends. Drifting along, he takes a 28-hour course on caregiving at a local church and gets himself a job taking care of a cantankerous, waffle-eating, sexually frustrated 19-year-old with Duchenne muscular dystrophy named Trev. Everything with Trev is about routine: khaki cargo shorts, black t-shirts, Weather Channel, waffles, video games, a new pair of shoes bought at the mall on the second Thursday of every month. It turns out, taking care of someone else is pretty much just what Ben needs, even though it takes him awhile to come around to fully embrace that conclusion.
|A self-serving photo of me and the author.|
As I mentioned in my earlier review of this, Evison has very specific reasons for why he wrote this particular novel - available over here: www.revisedfundamentals.com/author-essay.html. The very act of writing RFoC was a cathartic act for its creator, and it would seem that Evison has poured a goodly portion of himself and his familial history into this novel. Getting into that van is the important thing - both for Ben and Evison - for you can't really face your own life and all of its inherent, inevitable failings and heartbreak, until you look square at what got you there in the first place, car keys in hand. I got the sense that Fundamentals was written as much for the author as it was for us. And I'm totally okay with that. Johnny:
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is a story of total collapse, and ultimately, reconstruction. Before it is over, this calamitous journey will cover five states, resulting in one birth, two arrests, and one instance of cannibalism and including a dust storm, a hail storm, several shit storms, and a six-hundred-mile cat-and-mouse pursuit by a mysterious Buick Skylark.
Baggage is collected.There you have it. #8 with a bullet.
Hearts are won and lost.
Mistakes are forgiven.
Futures are realized.
Buy The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving from your local independent bookstore.
#9: The Yellow Birds
#10: Me, Who Dove Into the Heart of the World
The 2012 Notable Notables