Tag Archives: Peter Cameron

Contest for the Australians
September 18, 2009 posted by Nikki

Contest for the Australians

This time, we’ve got one for the Aussies. Courtesy of Scribe, we’re giving away four competition packs for Australian readers only. Each pack will contain one copy of Peter Cameron’s Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You and one copy of Allegra Goodman’s The Other Side of the Island.

From New York Times bestselling author Allegra Goodman comes a post apocalyptic novel about love, loss, and the power of human choice.

Honor and her parents have been reassigned to live on Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Life is peaceful there—the color of the sky is regulated by Earth Mother, a corporation that controls New Weather, and it almost never rains. Everyone fits into their rightful and predictable place. . . .

Except Honor. She doesn’t fit in, but then she meets Helix, a boy with a big heart and a keen sense for the world around them. Slowly, Honor and Helix begin to uncover a terrible truth about life on the Island: Sooner or later, those who are unpredictable disappear . . . and they don’t ever come back.

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adult world around him–including the expectation that he will go to college in the fall. he would prefer to move to an old house in a small town somewhere in the Midwest. Someday This Pain Will BE Useful to You takes place over a few broiling days in the summer of 2003 as James confides in his sympathetic grandmother, stymies his canny therapist, deplores his pretentious sister, and devises a fake online identity in order to pursue his crush on a much older coworker. Nothing turns out how he’d expected.

To enter, all you need to do is leave you name at the bottom of this post in the comments box. Competition is open until September 30. Just a reminder, this is open to Australian residents only.

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You – Peter Cameron
Book Reviews
April 7, 2009 posted by Nikki

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You – Peter Cameron

James is eighteen. He’s been accepted to Brown University and he’s got the whole world in front of him. Except that he doesn’t want the whole world, and he certainly doesn’t want to go to Brown. James isn’t like other boys his age. He doesn’t fit in, or at least, he doesn’t want to fit in. He finds kids his own age annoying, shallow. The thought of sitting through four years of college with other kids his age is like a nightmare to him.

So what does a kid who is smart enough to have been accepted to Brown want to do with his life if not go to college? James wants to move to the Midwest. Buy a house and just get a regular old job. He wants a porch where he can read, sleep and be alone.

James’s parents don’t understand him, and his mother tells him this one more than one occasion. His father is a high flying business executive that has very little time for his parental responsibilities and James’s mother is a bit of an artsy fartsy hair brain that can’t hold down any kind permanent, stable relationships. James looks at his parents and wants the opposite of what they have.

This is one of those novels where not a lot happens, kind of like Seinfeld episode. It’s a novel about nothing but it’s completely unputdownable. James is a quirky character and from the beginning of the novel it’s clear that he’s an unhappy person. I was eager to discover the source of his unhappiness. Maybe this is why I kept reading so incessantly. I can’t say with certainty that the root of his problems is divulged, but I don’t think the reader is supposed to walk away with a sense of finality after reading this book.

Peter Cameron writes beautifully and his characters – even those that are deeply flawed – are intelligent and engaging. This is one of those rare highbrow real literary young adult novels and I recommend it to all. It’s not chick lit; there is no Edward Cullen found within its pages but it’s definitely worth your money and your time. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is one of those universal novels that will appeal to both male and female readers everywhere. Cameron is a supremely talented author and he will have you thinking about the deeper roots of humanity without even realising it.

Rating: : ★★★★½