I just cannot say enough good things about this book. I have felt such a need for books populated by people I want to spend time with; I don't really care about the plot, I just want to hang out with likable characters.
I love the main character of this book, and the serial enthusiasms he's propelled into, and I could happily spend years just reading about whatever he's up to, whatever new thing he's learning about, dabbling in, experiencing.
On top of that, Charlie Haas's writing makes me so happy. I typed out a bunch of my favorite passages -
stepped out into a world that felt like I'd been born missing it.
There was the prospect of a radiant smirk.
He got up, went out to his car, and started it with a sound like an old photograph being torn down the middle.
She'd grown bangs, an unnecessary perfecting touch.
When I knocked on the door, she opened it looking like I'd wakened her from a dream of falling.
being in the enthusiasm business let me see people being happy, doing what their bumper stickers said they'd rather be doing, what they braked for.
- and I remember the last time I read it, wanting to take a marker and highlight all the really great lines (and I never write in books, ever, never), and imagining myself doing that, I realized the whole book would be swaths of yellow. There are just great little descriptions and metaphors on every page, and they never detract from the story - they just give me those little jabs of delight: "ooh, did you see that? How does he do that?!"
It had been twelve years since I read this last, enough time to have forgotten how much I enjoyed it.
I wish he would write another book. I wish he would write dozens of books.
But I am very, very glad to have this one.