The Ordinary White Boy by Brock Clarke

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Endearing, infuriating, and utterly irresistible, Lamar Kerry is a twenty-seven-year-old Ordinary White Boy. He wears khaki pants, work boots, and flannel shirts; dances like Mick Jagger when he dances at all (only when drunk); and when in doubt, he reaches for a beer. His father sent him to college expecting him to become extraordinary, but Lamar returned home a bright, cocky, over-educated, middle-class boy adrift in a depressed, comatose, working-class town.
Now the town's only Hispanic is missing and feared dead, Lamar's mother is enfeebled by MS, and both his girlfriend and his father are tired of being disappointed in him. Can Lamar turn himself into a professor of "racist remediation" and save the soul of his town? Can he stop hiding out in his ordinariness and do what is right by his father, his mother, his girlfriend, and himself? Can this ordinary white boy finally become a man?
With a character both unforgettably unique yet universal, in a voice both tender and biting, Clarke mixes subtle social criticism with laugh-out-loud funny observations and introduces to literature the ordinary white boy in all of us.

About Brock Clarke

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Brock Clarke is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at the University of Cincinnati. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous reviews and journals, and his short-story collection, What We Won't Do, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. He lives with his wife and son in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Published September 10, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 257 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Comics & Graphic Novels. Fiction

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While he paid little attention to Mark, the only Puerto Rican student when they were both in high school, Lamar does not consider himself a racist, though he acknowledges the backwardness of Little Falls.

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Publishers Weekly

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This first novel has a familiar protagonist and setting: a bright youth trying to come to terms with life in a depressed and depressing little town in upstate New York.

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