Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Is Someone Else by Patrick Cooper

British Stephen dreams of something new. Perhaps even an adventure, but he never expected that he’d be traveling halfway around the world in search of his older brother Rob. This long awaited adventure takes place in 1966, en route to France he takes a long detour through parts of continental Europe, the Middle East, and Southern Asia.. Naturally it was a surprise to find the most beautiful girl in the world telling him that Rob is in Istanbul. Lucky for Stephen, she, Astrid, and Jerry are headed there right now. Stephen is determined not to miss this chance of finding his brother who was thought by his mother to be dead. This leads up to a journey that will not be forgotten. The unveiling of painful past memories, and a battle with his common sense, forces him to make decisions about his sexuality. The path that Stephen chooses to tread is long and filled with danger, whether it be temptation by drugs or hostility from the locals in any of the places he travels. Stephen learns to deal with his past and copes with how he can control his future.

Beginning: Boy goes to study French, forgets France goes for gorgeous girl, ends up in Istanbul. Okay, pretty good. With a feint toward education turns around and votes for the teenage love thing. I’ll face it, I was caught. I soon learned that the boyfriend of Stephen’s beloved crush is a drug dealer. My thoughts turned toward “this is interesting”. I was soon to find out that Jerry’s occupation was not going to be the only reference to drugs, drug dealing, or drug consumption. In fact, it was all the rage in 1966 in the Middle East and Southern Asia. Even parts of Continental Europe had a taste for hashish in the sixties. What disagreed with me the most are the illogical things that Stephen did. There were many moments that I hit my forehead in frustration wondering what would posses anyone to do such a thing. I soon gave up trying to control fictitious characters and chalked up his unwise movements to the drugs. The text is laced with flashbacks to Stephen’s school days. Most of the time these tidbits of background story left me wanting to know what happened next. It wasn’t until the last sixty pages that this thirst was satisfied. For me it also separated the present narrative from the past. That can be both good and a hindrance. Good because it kept things clearly defined and bookmarked your place in either one. This became a bad idea when it was difficult to flow between storylines. I will give Mr. Cooper this: His characters are memorable and this story will not be one that is easily forgotten.

Content: There are many drug references that also include usage my both peripheral and main characters. There are other very intimate scenes of mature content.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Belton, MO USA