How Soon Is Never?: A Novel

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How Soon Is Never?: A Novel

by Marc Spitz

Crown Publishing Group | September 23, 2003 | Trade Paperback |

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There is a light and it never goes out . . . or is there?

Welcome to the big Reagan '80s, where ketchup is a vegetable and the Cold War looms large and chilly. If like Joe Green you were coming of age during this boom era, your main concerns include one or more of the following: a rainbow assortment of Polo shirts worn with the collar flipped up, K-Swiss tennis shoes, a new cable channel called MTV, and Top 40 radio. Stuck in the suburban haze of Long Island, New York, Joe Green knows there has got to be more to life.

However, salvation is on the way, in the form of a quiffed-up quartet from Manchester, England, who take over the airways of a local radio station. Hearing the Smiths for the first time jerks Joe awake: Morrissey's wry and witty lyrics speak to him, and Johnny Marr's driven guitar chords get under his skin. He destroys his Phil Collins cassettes, pomades his hair into New Wave submission, studies up on his Oscar Wilde, and falls in love. He even shows up for dinner on time. That is, until his favorite band breaks up and then breaks his heart.

Fast-forward some fifteen years. Joe Green is making a living as a rock journalist, still recovering from a wicked post-college smack addiction and slumming with youngsters who ironically "appreciate" the seminal '80s music that once gave his life meaning. It's too late to go home, or is it?

What if Joe Green can get the Smiths back together? What if reuniting the long-broken-up band can reverse the passage of time and bring back the magic of youth? What if it helps him win the heart of the woman he loves?

How Soon Is Never? is an acerbic, ingenious look at Reagan-era adolescence, the power of hearing a record that changes your life, and the dangers of nostalgia.

Be prepared to see a bit of yourself in Joe Green.

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: September 23, 2003

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0609810405

ISBN - 13: 9780609810408

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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How Soon Is Never?: A Novel

How Soon Is Never?: A Novel

by Marc Spitz

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: September 23, 2003

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0609810405

ISBN - 13: 9780609810408

Read from the Book

hello, I am the ghost of troubled joe My name is Joseph Green. I don''t like the name Joseph. Prefer Joe, but that comes with some heavy pop cultural baggage. If you don''t know already, I''ll get it over with . . . From 1969 to 1981, 6''4", 280-pound Mean Joe Greene (number 75) was the fearsome defensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers. My legacy: not much, really. His legacy: Team MVP in 1970. NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1974. Four Super Bowl championships. One award-winning 1980 Coca-Cola commercial ("Hey, kid . . . catch!"). Inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, 1987. I think he also played Sasquatch on The Six Million Dollar Man. And then, although few pro-ball enthusiasts point this one out: there''s his unchallenged, three-decade run as an unholy source of my profound social awkwardness and tandem substance abuses. Yeah, to this day, even though I''m skinny, 30, Caucasian, and pretty even-tempered when sober, the utterance of my name to new acquaintances, bank tellers, hotel front desk clerks, and, worst of all, eligible women between the ages of 27 and 40 provokes the question: "Mean Joe Greene?" Each one acts as if I''ve never heard it before. It''s made me pretty fucking mean. This is one of the reasons why I tend to hang out with 22-year-olds lately. My new social circle consists of kids just out of college. They''re members of Generation Y to my arrested X. That eight-to-ten-year age difference can catch you on a mean sn
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From the Publisher

There is a light and it never goes out . . . or is there?

Welcome to the big Reagan '80s, where ketchup is a vegetable and the Cold War looms large and chilly. If like Joe Green you were coming of age during this boom era, your main concerns include one or more of the following: a rainbow assortment of Polo shirts worn with the collar flipped up, K-Swiss tennis shoes, a new cable channel called MTV, and Top 40 radio. Stuck in the suburban haze of Long Island, New York, Joe Green knows there has got to be more to life.

However, salvation is on the way, in the form of a quiffed-up quartet from Manchester, England, who take over the airways of a local radio station. Hearing the Smiths for the first time jerks Joe awake: Morrissey's wry and witty lyrics speak to him, and Johnny Marr's driven guitar chords get under his skin. He destroys his Phil Collins cassettes, pomades his hair into New Wave submission, studies up on his Oscar Wilde, and falls in love. He even shows up for dinner on time. That is, until his favorite band breaks up and then breaks his heart.

Fast-forward some fifteen years. Joe Green is making a living as a rock journalist, still recovering from a wicked post-college smack addiction and slumming with youngsters who ironically "appreciate" the seminal '80s music that once gave his life meaning. It's too late to go home, or is it?

What if Joe Green can get the Smiths back together? What if reuniting the long-broken-up band can reverse the passage of time and bring back the magic of youth? What if it helps him win the heart of the woman he loves?

How Soon Is Never? is an acerbic, ingenious look at Reagan-era adolescence, the power of hearing a record that changes your life, and the dangers of nostalgia.

Be prepared to see a bit of yourself in Joe Green.

From the Jacket

There is a light and it never goes out . . . or is there?
Welcome to the big Reagan ''80s, where ketchup is a vegetable and the Cold War looms large and chilly. If like Joe Green you were coming of age during this boom era, your main concerns include one or more of the following: a rainbow assortment of Polo shirts worn with the collar flipped up, K-Swiss tennis shoes, a new cable channel called MTV, and Top 40 radio. Stuck in the suburban haze of Long Island, New York, Joe Green knows there has got to be more to life.
However, salvation is on the way, in the form of a quiffed-up quartet from Manchester, England, who take over the airways of a local radio station. Hearing the Smiths for the first time jerks Joe awake: Morrissey''s wry and witty lyrics speak to him, and Johnny Marr''s driven guitar chords get under his skin. He destroys his Phil Collins cassettes, pomades his hair into New Wave submission, studies up on his Oscar Wilde, and falls in love. He even shows up for dinner on time. That is, until his favorite band breaks up and then breaks his heart.
Fast-forward some fifteen years. Joe Green is making a living as a rock journalist, still recovering from a wicked post-college smack addiction and slumming with youngsters who ironically "appreciate" the seminal ''80s music that once gave his life meaning. It''s too late to go home, or is it?
What if Joe Green can get the Smiths back together? What if reuniting the long-broken-up band can reverse the passage of time and bring back the magic of youth? What if it helps him win the heart of the woman he loves?
How Soon Is Never? is an acerbic, ingenious look at Reagan-era adolescence, the power of hearing a record thatchanges your life, and the dangers of nostalgia.
Be prepared to see a bit of yourself in Joe Green.

About the Author

Marc Spitz is a senior contributing writer at "Spin" magazine. He spent his misbegotten 20s in post-punk Hollywood and lives now in Greenwich Village, New York.
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