If you ever want to understand the true nature of a teenage boy during a hyper-pubescent time in his life, this is the book for you. Oh, also add the apocalypse into the mix.
For those of you who are thinking about picking up this novel, please do. It’s a coming of age story about a small town Polish lutheran boy named Austin who is uncertain about life, his sexuality, and the future that awaits him. However, in the background, slowly but surely, there is an outbreak that is causing the local town folk to become sick and transform into massive coldblooded mantis-creatures. Together with his girlfriend, Shann, and his best bud, Robby, the group investigates the infestation while also exploring Austin’s internal conflict.
Grasshopper Jungle is not your traditional book. It is a first person account that rarely stays on one subject. The narrator hops back in time, tells short jokes, gives history lessons, and then lets you know his current level of “horny”. The author’s raw and slapstick sense of humor had me laughing throughout the book, and his point of view on historical figures (no one ever shits), adulthood, and growing up was delightfully entertaining. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who isn’t intimidated by a book with edgy subjects, as there are a few hot buttons.
All-in-all, this is a great read if your looking for weird and hilarious.