PRAISE FOR KIDS THESE DAYS:
"Drew Perry does some amazing things in this wonderfully funny novel, not least of which is the way he so skillfully frames the uncertainty of parenthood against the larger uncertainty of simply living in these strange times. Perry has a generous heart and the talent to both break and rebuild our own. This is an astonishing book."
-- Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
"Honest, filled with doubts, often hilarious, and just a little bit scary, Kids These Days is sure to appeal to all parents, new and old—even the ones still standing on the sidelines, trying to get all their ducks in a row first. Especially them."
-- Gina Webb, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"What is my kind of book is Drew Perry's Kids These Days... A meditation on growing up and what it means to assume an adult role in a world that's neither entirely coherent nor particularly concerned with whether or not you survive it... While some people prefer art that rewrites the narrative of the way we live, I admire stuff that gets close to how it really feels. I think that's kind of brave."
-- Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"A novel about impending fatherhood, Hiassen-ian Floridians and the way life carries us forward whether we want it to or not... There are some madcap elements here that recall the novels of Tim Dorsey or Laurence Shames, but the core story of Walter's family makes the enterprise feel closer to an Alexander Payne jaunt than anything else. A funny, frenzied tale of a terrified man plummeting helplessly into his own adulthood."
"Critics are raving about the humor in novelist Drew Perry's Kids These Days, and it's true that Perry captures ironies and absurdities so well that he's created a page-turner sure to amuse... His tale negotiates the thin and often permeable terrain that encompasses both comedy and tragedy."
--Linda Elisabeth Beattie, Louisville Courier-Journal
"The domestic comedy is enjoying a revival of late, [and] Drew Perry gives the genre a New South spin (and a gonzo twist)... He's spot-on about the perpetual fog of war that is active parenthood... Perry has a gift for quick draw dialogue... In between the gags, he catches moments of existential terror and anguish as his American boys find themselves dragged against their will into adulthood."
--Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News
"A timely look at contemporary America, with its unexpected economic setbacks and the bargains made to surmount them. Readers of Nick Hornby, Dave Eggers, and Jonathan Tropper should enjoy this compelling novel, the story of a man in transition that might lure a few Florida fiction fans as well."
"In a lot of ways, Perry's novel can be read as the strongest statement yet about the new middle-American 'normal'... An entertaining and very emotionally satisfying story... If the closing moments of this book don't move you to look at your loved ones with a new sense of awe and wonder, then something's wrong with you. Drew Perry might have written the perfect novel for our times."--Matt Simmons, Southern Literary Review
--Madison Taylor, Burlington Times-News
"A genuinely funny book... Walter makes us see mundane objects and experiences with the wide-eyed wonder of a toddler... Florida as a microcosm for the whole country also amplifies the stakes. The tourists, the real estate bubble, the consumer culture—they are all pressed to the point of absurdity, yet still shockingly real. The death-defying go-karts and lechers dressed up as pirates in the deli department reflect our lives in the extreme, allowing us to see ourselves more clearly for what we really are."
-- Sharon Harrigan, Fiction Writers Review
"This new novel hops up the action and humor and heart... It's a finely written, funny and smart story about one man's quest to find himself after his world has begun spinning out of control."
--Steve Cushman, Greensboro News & Record
"Reads like a memoir...Walter becomes somewhat unglued as the situation escalates to an explosive climax, but never fear: approaching fatherhood brings him back into focus. Life is good."--Florida Times-Union
"Perry's Florida is strange and intricate... and [his] quick-witted observations and surprising plot twists unveil humor in adversity."
"A terrific writer, Perry has written a wonderful book about a man dealing with—among other things—the angst of impending fatherhood. It's sweet, soulful, smart, and funny as hell. A great read."
--Dave Barry, author of Insane City and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
"This book is so funny and engaging that I was reading it and forgot to pick up my kids."
--Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
"[A] cleverly original story... a wonderfully wacky novel that is just the right mix of funny and quirky. [A] terrific read."
PRAISE FOR THIS IS JUST EXACTLY LIKE YOU:
“With this charming, darkly funny story about “the beautiful kind of too much,” Perry asks where we draw the line between good crazy and bad crazy, between normal and abnormal, and what happens if we don't fit on the spectrum, and why that’s OK... How all this pans out is where a lesser writer might crash to earth... Perry, however, never loses his footing.”
--Gina Webb, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“Heartbreaking and hilarious... Perry’s characters are unforgettable... From its madcap title to its choice chapter headings to its clueless males and their capable if baffled women, the book is a triumph.”
--Karen Brady, The Buffalo News
“As convincingly as Perry swift-paddles the perilous waters of love, he just as ably limns male comaraderie in all of its bantering rawness and fatherly parenting... His comic touch is equally consistent... The rough and tumble of men and women trying to make sense, eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe never leaves our view. The novel’s final collision sparks operatic.”
--Ted Weesner, Jr., The Boston Globe
“I really enjoyed this book, as much for its dialogue, which is really natural and occasionally really funny, as for [the] parts where Jack tries to work out how he can do better by himself and those in his life.”
--Douglas George, The Chicago Tribune
“Perry’s novel is a finely tuned character study and a compelling read which deserves all the attention it gets... [He] has managed to create in Jack Lang the kind of original a reader can admire in the pages of a novel—a Don Quixote, tilting at windmills, a builder of a “Backyard Sidewalk Tricycle Racetrack” for a child who refuses to ride on his Big Wheel.”
--Jack Goodstein, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Perry has nailed some key observations about modern life, like the tiny, compulsive gestures we make to convince ourselves that we still have some control. He notes the complexity of marriages and romantic relationships that never really end, especially when a child is involved... In the process, [he] manages to say a lot about the state of the 21st century human heart. This is just exactly the way a lot of us are.”
--Ben Steelman, Wilmington Star-News
“Most poignant are Jack’s tender, if bewildered, interactions with his son, Hen, a six-year-old savant... Jack’s good intentions don’t quite pave the road to Hell, but they do mastermind the construction of a “backyard sidewalk tricycle racetrack” for Hen, accented with fiberglass crustaceans rescued from a defunct mini-golf course. Ultimately, Perry’s debut is as charming, as touching, and as odd as Jack’s magnum opus.”
--The Oxford American, Editors' Picks
“A beautiful rant against the so-called sane majority. And very funny: a dead-on, hilariously sad account—without a scintilla of sentimentality—of raising a brilliant autistic child in a marriage gone mad on account of it.”
--Brad Watson, National Book Award finalist for A Heaven of Mercury and author of Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives
“[A] striking debut novel about a man whose responsibilities haven't yet overcome his ambitions... a riveting familial drama... [and] a charitable and bleakly funny portrait of the American dream gone off the rails.”
“Drew Perry's wonderful debut will hold readers spellbound from beginning to end—think A Midsummer Night's Dream set in a small college town, plus a dog named Yul Brynner. The estranged grownups switch partners and dance back and forth with some of the liveliest dialogue I've read in years, all while struggling to come face to face with reality. And at the center of this often comical, sometimes tragic chaos is that reality—a child, Hendrick, brilliant and autistic—with the power to ultimately pull this cast of memorable characters back into the light of day, and give them new perspective on what is most important. Perry is a gifted writer, and this novel, with its wit and warmth and wisdom, is an absolute winner.”
--Jill McCorkle, author of Life after Life
“This is a richly imagined, beautifully written, and completely absorbing work of fiction. I found myself spellbound, turning pages well past my bedtime. What a fine, fine book.”
--Tim O'Brien, winner of the National Book Award and author of The Things They Carried