Nick Twisp (and his Younger Brother)

This is a double-review of both “Young and Revolting” the (apparently) last Nick Twisp book and “Revoltingly Young” the story of Nick’s younger brother. CD Payne has an interesting style, and if you’re reading this review, I can only assume you’ve read the original “Youth in Revolt” which is an utter classic.

Nick Twisp begins life as an over-sexed nympho-like 14 year-old. He’s older in Y&R but that doesn’t mean he’s mature. That’s a good thing. Because what keeps this book enjoyable is the fact that Nick will always and forever be a fourteen-year-old. His outlook on life doesn’t change drastically, and if it did we probably wouldn’t like him nearly as much. Nick’s a terribly misguided youth and that’s his charm. His adventures are still vastly amusing, but nowhere near as madcap as his first adventure. Quite frankly, I miss François and Carlotta who appear briefly only. Payne gives it his best, but the ending is not that satisfying. It’s more like an afterthought.

That leads us on to RY which is entertaining as hell. It’s closer to the first book than any of the subsequent novels and my constant chuckles had my neighbours on the plane giving me suspicious looks out of the corners of their eyes. It’s a rehash of previous books in one way — you won’t be surprised at anything you read because you’ve seen it all before but sometimes an old comfortable pair of shoes is just what’s needed. My biggest complaint about this book is that when Nick makes a cameo — and his brief appearance can only be called that — as a 30-year-old adult, quite frankly he’s not likeable. It would have been better if he hadn’t been included. My other complaint is that ending feels terribly rushed and deux-ex-machina, which even the author hints at in a smug, self-satisfied way. Clearly Payne didn’t know how to end his novel, so he threw an ending together. The charm of writing journal style means you don’t have to contrive an ending.

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