Rave Reviews Log: Realistic Fiction

April 07, 2012

The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. AKA Houdini

By Peter Johnson
Rating: 3 3/4 stars

Set in Providence, Rhode Island, John, also known as Houdini for his obsession with the famous escape artist, decides to write his own book after an author visits his school.  So Houdini begins to chronicle his life, from his friends Lucky and Jorge to their arch enemy, Angel Dimitri.  But writing everything down makes Houdini begin to view his friends, enemies, neighbors and events in totally different ways.  Surprises are in store for Houdini and his friends when they start and leaf raking business and have to deal with crazy Vietnam vet, Old Man Jackson and his killer dog, Da Nang.  Even Angel manages to surprise the trio.  But it all takes  a backseat when Houdini's older brother goes missing in action in Iraq.  In the end, this is a story set in a rough and tumble neighborhood about some rough and tumble folks, but like everywhere else, there is love, loss, good and bad.  Readers will enjoy spending time in Houdini's world and find that sometimes, things just come to an end simply, not with a big bang.


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