An iconic book about American youth and friendship between young men. Everyone has had a friendship like the one Rich Cohen immortalizes in Lake Effect: a friendship that defined you at a critical time, that gave you courage, that transported you from adolescence into the beginnings of adulthood. With hilarity and disarming tenderness, Cohen chronicles a golden moment and the bittersweet legacy it left behind.Cohen grew up on the North Shore of Chicago, in Glencoe, Illinois, “the perfect town for a certain kind of dreamy kid, with just enough history to get your arms around.” In the summer, he and his friends slept on the beach: Tom Pistone, who drove a ’61 Pontiac GTO, walked with a swagger, and dated girls in polka dots; Ronnie Flowers, gullible and earnest, always the butt of someone’s joke; and Jamie Drew. Jamie had moved to Glencoe from a working-class town west of the city, and he had been raised without a father. Cohen was from the affluent part of town known as the Bluffs; his own father was the dominant figure in his life. The two boys became inseparable. Jamie “was what, for years, looking in a mirror, I had hoped to see looking back at me.”Lake Effect is about growing up on the Great Lakes, emerging from the shadow of a father, falling under the spell of an unforgettable friendship, and the pain of looking back on that friendship with adult eyes. What happens to the self of childhood? Can a person vanish so cleanly into adult life? In a memoir that stretches from the shores of Lake Michigan to the streets of the French Quarter to the hallowed halls of the old New Yorker, Rich Cohen captures the humble dreams—of kissing girls, getting drunk for the first time, driving to a jazz club in “the city” in a borrowed car, seeing the Cubs finally win from the cheap seats at Wrigley Field on a summer day—that fueled an epic bond between two young men. Writing at the height of his powers, with impeccable comic timing and a gift for the perfect anecdote, the indelible turn of phrase, Rich Cohen captures the grandeur and sorrow and sweetness of youth.
Biographies & Memoirs, Historical, General,