Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed

As soon as I read, "Near a dumpster something sounded..." and "The man dragged a tattered and enormous suitcase on rollers. It was held together with gray duct tape.", I knew the man was homeless. Author of "Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed, Doug Crandell does not call the man that. yet. Later, Brad (the mildly depressed main character) Goes back to the spot, "...where he'd met Preston, the homeless guy."

Said of another character: "She was here doing some flyers about an event to end homelessness." The woman tells Brad that she coordinates an outreach program and "For a number of years we've given money, time and other resources to may causes, mostly to do with homelessness and mental illness."

An attorney tells Brad, "The family law court judge is all for getting people off the streets and into places where they belong." Seems the lawyer believes in sterilizing the mentally ill, also.

Brad's brother has a brain injury due to a beating. Brad enrolled him into the "Paradise Club". His brother, Compton, brings his "new friends" into the Mental Health program. Not clear if Compton's "new friends" are homeless individuals. Homelessness is not a central theme of the story. Crandell manages to include a variety of contemporary issues, in telling a story that seems more about sibling rivalry than depression. A lot of comedy woven in the tale; especially liked a scene with Preston, the homeless guy. Great read.

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