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Spoonful: My review
Author: Chris Mendius
Sal and Mike prefer the easy way out to make a living in order to feed their drug habits and score. Sal is the brains of the operation and Michael goes along with his schemes. We meet these two as they decide to rob an unsuspecting woman on a business trip that Sal had dropped at the airport right before convincing Michael to join in this caper. Thinking he has it all worked out logistics and all they enter the condo unit thinking it is vacant and come smack dab and face to face with the girl’s boyfriend cheating on her with another woman? But, first they case the condo decide on what they want to lift and then the fun starts as Michael and Sal hear voices, find a hiding place and their exist is something out of Laurel and Hardy movie with Sal disappearing down the steps and poor Michael getting stuck dealing with the big brute that attacks him. Even more wild is Sal’s justification for the heist, his anger with the two people in the condo, how dare they be there and not coming out empty handed. Leaving somehow with a laptop computer as their score, they hi tail it to their nearest Pawn Shop to strike a deal with Stella the owner. Michael and Sal are junkies and get strung out after going back home using some of the money they got for the laptop and sharing their stash with their friends. But, there is much more as the two seem to justify their actions write or wrong and cannot understand why anyone would want to work for a living when they can just rob, steal and take whatever they want. Their primary hangout a bar called Spoonful as they catch up with Sal’s cousin Dante, his girlfriend Lila, Sherry and many more colorful characters who enjoy drinking, using drugs and partying. But, when Dante did not know was the Lila and Michael had something going on too. Then there was Nikki, who came into the party late. Lila was talented artist and Sherry Sal’s girlfriend. Fights break out, friendships tested, more justification for doing the wrong thing and Michael and the rest have no idea just how low down they are headed. So, when Michael takes a watch left to him by his father worth ten thousand dollars why pawns it and takes a loan? What will he do with the insurance money left to him? Comparing the smell of the drugs to money is a really sad comparison as they feel this is the way they can make their mark in the world. It is as if reality does not hold for them and the only way to deal with life is to find another place for them almost in another dimension. Heroin, Lila and Michael seem to be a new threesome if you can call it that. Then they get arrested spend the night in jail and hopefully a harsh or rude awakening will occur but there is so much more that remains to be seen because sometimes lessons seem to be learned but are not.
Added to the mix is the fact that when spending time with his mom on the Fourth of July he and his friends decided to upset the host by smoking. When asked nicely not to he ranted, raved and left. The reaction definitely immature and the attitude the same as he and his friends seem to be living in a world of tunnel vision where they do not see past what they think they want and what they think is right. The message here is not a very good one for teens or young adults to follow and hopefully a lesson will be learned before all is said and done. Then Michael decides to listen to someone and falls prey to inside trading and what happens next should not surprise anyone. Not listening to reason he gives financial planner money loses it all and finds out he was sited by the SEC. This stock scam was going to take him down, as all the money he received from his father would be gone. Would this teach him a lesson? The answer to get stoned, see Lila’s show and get stoned even more. His reaction was realistic as he confronts Paul the man who invested his money and claims he has no idea what happened and then goes straight for as the author states in the vernacular the Blow. Sad that these men have to live their lives escaping reality thinking that the only way to exist is on drugs. Then the death of a friend brings things into light but will that change things for Michael and Dante?
Continuing to rob people and ATM’S and not learning anything when a friend overdoses but is luckier than most. Kenny the supplier keeps it coming and Sal and Michael keep going the same way and never seem to change. An ending quite explosive and tragic that you will have to decide for yourself as innocent people die at the hand of those who find “Scoring” more valuable than working to score their own money. A robbery gone badly and the end result you will have to learn for yourself as lives are lost and one young man has to decide whether it was worth it or not and where life will take him next. Michael Lira cannot seem to find his place in the world without the aide of something to make him escape it. Alienating himself from his family and justifying his actions with one word, which I won’t include in this review but most kids say for lack of anything else to express their feelings. Sal, Michael, Lila, Dante, Kenny and so many others lost in a world filled with drugs, alcohol and taking not the easy way out the only way they know out in this book that will make you think a out life in a different way. Everyone got rich but Michael lost it all. A bloodbath at the end that just might bring him back to reality but will it? Read Spoonful and then read the last page and you decide where life will take Michael. Colorful characters who live their lives on the edge, graphically depicted scenes and friends that defend, honor and almost obey each other in a special oath or creed that they seem have to have taken and created for themselves.
Fran Lewis: reviewer