Reversals. Read Kyle Beachy’s debut novel, The Slide, on sunny days. Reflect too long on the many slides and reversals experienced by all the characters in this book and you’re likely to join in their depression and loneliness. Protagonist Potter Mays has graduated college and moves back home uncertain of what’s next. His parents seem to welcome him, but their marriage has been in a downward slide, perhaps ever since Potter’s brother died years earlier as a child. Potter’s girlfriend went from college to Europe on a weird quest with a bisexual friend. After some malaise that Beachy presents with fine descriptive language and wit, Potter gets a job delivering bottled water. Potter has insomnia, his dead brother appears to him as a ghost, he develops relationships with a sixteen year old neighbor and a lonely younger boy whom he met while delivering water. The rocket slide in the park he visited as a child becomes the image for the direction of Potter’s life. Thanks to manipulation by a rich friend, Potter gets in more trouble. He’s a loveable sap, and epitomizes many of the anxieties lived out by people in their early-twenties. Beachy’s humor and decent writing make this debut worth a try to those readers willing to look at work from a new and young writer.
Rating: Three-star (Recommended)