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It Feels So Good When I Stop, Joe Pernice (Riverhead) 

Quarter life crisis tale gets real boring, real fast

If some movie adaptations are better left as books, it's best to stick with Pernice's novel soundtrack (available on CD) for It Feels So Good When I Stop, rather than the novel itself. A nameless protagonist in his mid-20s withdraws to a small corner of Cape Cod to escape his failures in life (mainly a relationship with Jocelyn) and work (no real direction, a listless band). Most of his time is occupied by babysitting his nephew. How and why Pernice's main character ends up in this state remain unclear. Rather than develop them, he makes this book a vehicle for voice: provocative passages of his protagonist, friends and family talking shit to and about each other. That gets real boring, real fast.

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Vol 25, No 39
February 22, 2018

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