THE LAST GENERATION OF CHAINSMOKERS
"The story focuses mostly on Crane, the terminal slacker who seems casually amused watching his life leave him for sunnier climes. It's honestly a little hard to relate to him for most of us. He's like a calm Sid Vicious burning out on center stage. But there is a warmth and depth to him, and from time to time you cannot help but feel for him."
Jim Martin reviews The Last Generation of Chainsmokers by Stephen Creagh Uys
COPYRIGHT © 2004, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
I am not from New York. I don't "get" it. I mean, Seinfeld was funny and everything, but I'm about a billion miles away from New York here in the frosty Canadian city of Calgary, and if there's one thing I get, it's that things there and things here are often very different.
I asked to review The Last Generation of Chain Smokers solely because it had a great name. I knew it was a tale of love-struck woe in New York, but the title was whimsical and sad all at the same time, and I wondered if the book would be able to match that tone all the way through. It did. This book had its dull moments, and I found that my image of the characters had to change quite substantially as the story progressed and the details of their lives were fleshed out a bit. But all that aside, it was exactly what I had expectedů a fine, sometimes light and sometimes sad tale of love in the big apple.
It's that special kind of love that centers heavily on alcohol and the bird in the hand. It's that practical sort of love that we all wish we didn't have, but at least on some level can directly relate to. It's Kimberly and Crane, two very damaged souls holding hands in a landslide.
The story focuses mostly on Crane, the terminal slacker who seems casually amused watching his life leave him for sunnier climes. It's honestly a little hard to relate to him for most of us. He's like a calm Sid Vicious burning out on center stage. But there is a warmth and depth to him, and from time to time you cannot help but feel for him.
Kimberly, on the other hand, is a practical everywoman. She's the sort of lady who has dreamed of better, accepted worse, and is now muddling through the trouble of being comfortable with her loser of a life. From the time the two meet to the end of the book, it's never boring listening to the thoughts inside their heads.
This book wasn't my style by any stretch, but I knew that going into things and found that I did enjoy it in the end. I think I might have understood it on a deeper level if I could have related more to the characters, but all things considered it was a fun read. And while there were definitely some moments that I found hard to get past in the book, when it was done I was glad to have read it.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Jim Martin is one of 3AM's Chief Editors. He is also a computer programmer, writer, and fronts the unknown punk band Johnny Incognito.