IndecisionBook | Benjamin Kunkel By Tracy O’Neill
Twenty's the new twelve, or something.
Like so many twenty-somethings, Dwight Wilmerding is living in New York City, a little stunted, a little confused, and distinctly under the impression he's mediocre. Yet this narrator is as funny as any I've read, and his charmingly oblivious, good-natured, and quirky voice carries Indecision from a five-roommate apartment in lower Manhattan to the jungles of Ecuador and back on a delightful coming-of-age journey. When Dwight is fired from his job as a tech support peon at Pfizer and taking an experimental drug called Abulinix to cure himself of chronic indecision, he decides to take off to South America to see an old school friend who has extended a polite, if insincere, invitation for him to come visit. Believing he may be in love with her, if he isn't in love with his older sister at least, Dwight could be finally drugged out of his indecision- if he isn't actually a rash risk-taker unbeknownst to himself. Benjamin Kunkel, the novel's author, is at his best in dialogue. Whether Dwight is trying to both bond with and squeeze money out of his father, pretend to know about Belgium and learn more about it from a beautiful Belgian, or impress and distance himself from a kind-of girlfriend, Kunkel imbues the conversations with comic poignancy that derives from Dwight's genuine desire to be better and his utter idiocy. A devil's advocate who can't seem to figure out what's worth advocating, Dwight perfectly illustrates the daunting yet oh-so-common question of how to decide what to do with a life, and he makes Indecision a decidedly joyous occasion to read.
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