Everyone Can Relate to ‘Last Stop’
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 00:09
In this Connecticut-based book, Dylan, Noah, Walter and Pike are all high school seniors on a mission: to have one last hurrah before graduation. “Last Stop This Town,” the debut novel of the screen writer for the ‘American Pie’ series, David H. Steinberg, contains the same humor and absurdity that made those movies so popular with the American public.
Life in West Hartford, Conn. is an endless cycle of suburban monotony for the four friends. To keep themselves entertained, they turn to high-speed racing down the normally pedestrian-friendly streets of West Hartford, hiring a sketchy homeless man to buy them alcohol and attending the same lame parties week after week. Although they are close to graduation, they still haven’t faced what leaving high school means.
But the guys want to go out with a bang. Bypassing the traditional high school Beach Weekend, they devise an unforgettable night in New York City. However, not everything goes as planned. In fact, almost everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
The four have their sights set on Stark Raving Mad 2012, a Manhattan party that promises to be the biggest party of their entire lives. But getting to the party proves more problematic than the guys anticipated. They are delayed by a group of drunk, filthy-rich girls, a gang of Albanians with a grudge and other laughable mishaps. Full of raunchiness, drugs and one extreme high-speed car chase, what the guys’ adventures lack in realism, is made up for in imagination.
Steinberg, a West Hartford resident until he left to attend Yale at age 16, never got the same high school experience as his characters. Perhaps this book is his tribute to high school seniors in suburbia who desire to leave the humdrum normalcy of daily life. Although “Last Stop This Town” will probably not win any awards for the complexity of its characters, Steinberg has made a conscious effort to prevent those characters from being flat stereotypes of teenaged guys. Instead, they make discernible personal growth throughout the book. Steinberg adeptly keeps their development realistic by throwing in playful and immature banter that prevents the book from reading like a soppy and contrived rite- of passage story.
While I wouldn’t pick “Last Stop This Town” as a personal favorite, I will concede that it was a fun, quick read that is relatable for all of those who have graduated from high school in suburban America.