Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You: A Novel

Paperback | April 28, 2009

byPeter Cameron

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Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adult world around him-including the expectation that he will go to college in the fall. He would prefer to move to an old house in a small town somewhere in the Midwest. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You takes place over a few broiling days in the summer of 2003 as James confides in his sympathetic grandmother, stymies his canny therapist, deplores his pretentious sister, and devises a fake online identity in order to pursue his crush on a much older coworker. Nothing turns out how he'd expected.

"Possibly one of the all-time great New York books, not to mention an archly comic gem" (Peter Gadol, LA Weekly), Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the insightful, powerfully moving story of a young man questioning his times, his family, his world, and himself.

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From the Publisher

Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adul...

PETER CAMERON is the author of several novels, including Andorra and The Weekend. He lives in New York City.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.19 × 0.22 × 0.63 inPublished:April 28, 2009Publisher:PicadorLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312428162

ISBN - 13:9780312428167

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17

Customer Reviews of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Avid Reader I enjoyed the characters, but found the book too analytical for my liking.
Date published: 2014-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superior Clearly written and showing a pure scent if reality.
Date published: 2013-03-23

Extra Content

Bookclub Guide

About this GuideThe following author biography and list of questions about Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You.About the BookSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is the story of James Sveck, a sophisticated, vulnerable young man with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. James is eighteen, the child of divorced parents living in Manhattan. Articulate, sensitive, and cynical, he rejects all of the assumptions that govern the adult world around him--including the expectation that he will go to college in the fall. He would prefer to move to an old house in a small town somewhere in the Midwest. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You takes place over a few broiling days in the summer of 2003 as James confides in his sympathetic grandmother, stymies his canny therapist, deplores his pretentious sister, and devises a fake online identity in order to pursue his crush on a much older coworker. Nothing turns out how he'd expected.In the tradition of The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Booklist has hailed Cameron as "one of the best writers about middle-class youth since Salinger"), Peter Cameron paints an indelible portrait of a teenage hero holding out for a better grownup world.About the AuthorPeter Cameron's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Grand Street. He is the author of the adult novels The City of Your Final Destination, Andorra, and The Weekend. Cameron has also taught courses at Columbia University, Yale University, Sarah Lawrence College, and Oberlin College. He lives in New York City.

Editorial Reviews

"His best work--it's terrific, piercing, and funny. The novel demonstrates every kind of strength." -David Lipsky, The New York Times Book Review"James Sveck is a brilliant wit of a character whose voice will echo long after his story ends." -Kristin Kloberdanz, Chicago Tribune"Deliciously vital right from the start . . . a piece of vocal virtuosity and possibly Cameron's best book . . . It is a bravura performance, and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You is a stunning little book. " -Lorrie Moore, The New York Review of Books"Cameron's prose handily marries the tangled logic of adolescence to simple, beautiful language." -Peter Terzian, Newsday"Beautifully conceived and written . . . funny, sad, tender, and sophisticated." -Michael Cart, Booklist