Lawn Boy
Lawn Boy

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Annotation: Mike Munoz is a young Mexican American not too many years out of high school--and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew. Though he tries time and again to get his foot on the first rung of that ladder to success, he can't seem to get a break.
Catalog Number: #182541
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Workman Pub. Co.
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 321 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-616-20923-2 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-4572-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-616-20923-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-4572-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017032613
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
An aimless young man decides to get his life together, but life has other plans.Mike Muñoz doesn't quite know what he wants out of life, but he knows he deserves better than what he's got now: a terrible job cutting lawns, a truck that barely runs, and a tiny house packed with a disabled brother, an exhausted mother, and his mother's broke boyfriend who likes to watch porn in the living room while jamming on his bass guitar. Soon enough, however, he doesn't even have the job or the truck, and, in an ill-fated attempt to guilt-trip his mom into kicking out her boyfriend, Mike takes up residence in a shed in the backyard. Despite the steady stream of bad luck and worse decisions, Evison (This Is Your Life Harriet Chance, 2015, etc.) brings genuine humor to Mike's trials and tribulations. The writing is razor-sharp, and Evison has an unerring eye for the small details that snap a scene or a character into focus. The first-person narration turns Mike into a living, breathing person, and the reader can't help but get pulled into his worldview. "After all, most of us are mowing someone else's lawn, one way or another, and most of us can't afford to travel the world or live in New York City. Most of us feel like the world is giving us a big fat middle finger when it's not kicking us in the face with a steel-toed boot. And most of us feel powerless. Motivated but powerless." The novel has a light tone and is laugh-out-loud funny at times, but at a certain point, Mike's trials and tribulations move from comically frustrating to just frustrating. With so much going wrong for him, the reader can expect that the universe will smile on Mike eventually, but there's only so many sick family members, unpaid bills, bad jobs, awkward situations, and thwarted plans a character can suffer through. We root for Mike while also wishing we didn't have to root so hard.A book about triumphing over obstacles, and obstacles, and obstacles, and more obstacles.
Publishers Weekly
This moving fifth novel from Evison (This is Your Life, Harriet Chance) enters the wry, conflicted mind of Mike Muñoz, a recently fired yard worker with a real talent for topiary and a genuine love for landscaping. When Mike is sacked after refusing to comply with a client-s orders to pick up after his dog, he takes refuge in the one place in the world that-s always welcomed him: the library. As he tries to figure out what to do next, Mike contemplates writing the -Great American Landscaping Novel--the sort of novel he-d like to read-but writing novels, he realizes, isn-t for people like him: -landscapers, especially unemployed ones... had bills to pay. Cars to fix. Disabled siblings to care for.- Evison convincingly evokes the small disasters and humiliations that beset America-s working poor. Mike-s gradual growth into self-awareness is punctuated by moments of human kindness and grace that transpire in and among broken-down trucks, trailer parks, and strip malls. Focusing on the workers who will only ever be welcome in gated communities as hired help, Evison-s quiet novel beautifully considers the deterioration of the American Dream. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Winner of the Alex Award "Mike Muñoz Is a Holden Caulfield for a New Millennium--a '10th-generation peasant with a Mexican last name, raised by a single mom on an Indian reservation' . . . Evison, as in his previous four novels, has a light touch and humorously guides the reader, this time through the minefield that is working-class America." -- The New York Times Book Review For Mike Muñoz, life has been a whole lot of waiting for something to happen. Not too many years out of high school and still doing menial work--and just fired from his latest gig as a lawn boy on a landscaping crew--he's smart enough to know that he's got to be the one to shake things up if he's ever going to change his life. But how? He's not qualified for much of anything. He has no particular talents, although he is stellar at handling a lawn mower and wielding clipping shears. But now that career seems to be behind him. So what's next for Mike Muñoz? In this funny, biting, touching, and ultimately inspiring novel, bestselling author Jonathan Evison takes the reader into the heart and mind of a young man determined to achieve the American dream of happiness and prosperity--who just so happens to find himself along the way.


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