Kid Rules the World
by K. L. Going
Troy Billings, high school senior, 6’ 1”, 296 lbs, is standing
at the edge of a subway platform, seriously contemplating suicide, when he meets
Curt MacCrae-an emaciated,
semi-homeless punk guitar genius who’s also a dropout legend at Troy’s high school in
Manhattan. If anyone knows who Curt Cobain was, well, there’s a strong resemblance.
“I saved your life,” Curt tells Troy. “You owe me lunch.”
Troy can’t imagine refusing; after all, think of the headline: FAT KID ARGUES WITH PIECE OF TWINE.
But lunch with Curt involves more than French fries. Curt recruits Troy as
the drummer for his new band. “We’ll be called Rage/Tectonic. Sort
of a punk rock, Clash sort of thing,” Curt tells him. Never mind that
Troy doesn’t know how to play the drums. There’s a lot to be said
for having someone believe in you. Of course, Troy’s father thinks Curt
is a drug addict, although that doesn’t stop him from giving Curt dinner.
Sometimes your friends get along with your parents better than you do. Oh, and
Troy’s brother thinks Troy is a loser.
But with Curt, anything’s possible. “You’ll see,” says Curt, “We’re going to be HUGE.” And he means huge in a good way. Mercurial Curt has energy and enthusiasm to spare, when he’s not crashing. And Troy, newly baptized “T”, really wants to be everything Curt believes he can be. Funny, sad, real and ultimately, hopeful.
Booktalk by Cindy Claypool, KCLS
January 15, 2008