Wednesday, August 29, 2007


By Bob Flaherty

A blizzard of massive proportions has descended on 70’s suburban Boston. The roads have been closed to all civilian vehicles. It’s a good time to just settle in and take it easy. But if you’ve got extremely important business to attend to in Braintree, like say the acquisition of “one exceedingly fine ounce of Dominican Sin”, then you need to form a plan. The Gullivan brothers, John and Gully, both in their early twenties, are out of weed and if they can just get to Braintree, their problems will be solved. Well, not all their problems, there is their mother dying in the final stages of cancer at the local hospital. So, they, of course, do the logical thing. They borrow some big magnetic Red Cross insignias and Red Cross arm bands from their friend, Doody. With their deceased father’s old delivery truck emblazed with the insignias and their arm bands in place, they make their way out onto wintry streets. But looking like a rescue worker can attract some attention in a snow locked city, mainly from people in need of rescue. Thus they embark on goofy adventure that includes the cops, the terrifying priest from their childhood, old school friends, an injured pet and a crazed knife wielding sociopath looking for his ex-girlfriend.
It took me a couple of chapters to get into the flow of this book. I, for some reason, kept expecting John to become the voice of reason against his brother’s wild plans. Once I realized that there was no voice of reason between the two, I just got comfy and enjoyed the ride. All the little details, the gas station food, their taste in music, stories about old childhood friends, local tragedies, help to create the Gullivan brothers’ neighborhood which is pretty much their world. While not really a laugh out loud type book, it is an occasionally giggle out loud type book. The tale is sad at times, heart warming at others and always very human. It’s a coming of age story in its own small way with a love story thrown in.