East Bay Grease

  • So this fat little kid, T-Bird, starts a Girl Haters Club in fourth grade, and Laureen Miranda--she's huge--beats him up, and he pops her one, and she rat-finks... As with any good coming-of-age story, non-sequiturs are tailed up like circus elephants. T-Bird's mother shacks up with the Oakland chapter of Hell's Angels. His vengeful father, long split, teaches him philosophy: get even. Somehow he learns to play the trumpet well enough to join a neighborhood Mexican band. He grows six inches in a summer and stops being fat. He takes a job spraying concrete for a construction firm. Loses job. Is last seen swinging a sledge with his dad, breaking truck tires loose from rims. Gets word processor (we guess), writes all this stuff down to see whether it makes sense. No, but it makes a life, or the rowdy first part of one, and a better-than-fair first novel. Onward!