Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You by Peter Cameron

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Synopsis

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.

"Possibly one of the all-time great New York books, not to mention an archly comic gem" (Peter Gadol, LA Weekly), Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the insightful, powerfully moving story of a young man questioning his times, his family, his world, and himself.

 

About Peter Cameron

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Peter Cameron is the author of Andorra (FSG, 1997), The City of Your Final Destination (FSG, 2002), and Someday This Pain Will be Useful to You (FSG, 2007). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.
 
Published April 28, 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 244 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

Kirkus Reviews

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Cameron’s meticulously voiced novel begins as a comedy of manners, wittily disarticulating a certain class of New Yorker, so it takes the reader awhile to catch onto the fact that it’s actually a story about the psychological pain that comes from loneliness and the difficulty in making emotional ...

Sep 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

The New York Times

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Peter Cameron’s teenage narrator faces classic problem: adult perception without the deadening, reassuring glaze of adult experience.

Nov 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

James and Dr. Adler keep circling back to a pathetic, amusing stalemate, as she answers questions with questions, in that familiar way, and James plays defense in return, not wanting to repay such tactics with the openness she's driving at: "I didn't say anything.

Dec 11 2007 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

Common Sense Media

James is a relatable narrator who is funny and insightful -- and the feeling he has of being alone in the world is a pretty universal one.

Oct 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

The New York Review of Books

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Sep 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

M/C Anderson

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Jul 13 2008 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

Arlington Library

If you know you're smart, you hate being around people your own age, and you can't stand to see anyone using the English language incorrectly, you'll definitely relate to James.

Nov 01 2012 | Read Full Review of Someday This Pain Will Be Use...

Reader Rating for Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You
77%

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