Swim the Fly, for teen boys only
Are you 13 years old? Are you a boy? If you answer no to either one of these questions, you’d probably want to avoid reading Swim the Fly by Don Calame.
Okay, okay, Amazon gives it five stars. But I can’t. I just can’t. It’s too… too… much for me. Of course, see the above paragraph. I am not 13 and I am not a boy.
Yes, the book is well-written. Yes the book is funny. (The horny old grandfather is the most hysterical character among many.) Yes, this book is excellent, technically and writing-craft-ly (I know that’s not a word, but maybe it should be). But this book is relentless. It's page after page, scene after scene of farting and diarrhea and talk about female anatomy and insults about male anatomy, and sex-crazed guys and… and other stuff I’m to prudish to even list. You get the point. Read it at your own risk.
That said, if you do fit into the above-mentioned narrow category, here’s what you need to know about the book. The plot revolves around three guys with a goal of seeing a real live naked woman during their summer vacation. They do things like dress up as girls and sneak into the girls’ locker room.
The title comes from the swimming stroke butterfly. The boys are on a swim team. The main character volunteers to “swim the fly”—which is the most difficult stroke there is—because he has a crush on a girl who is dating a guy who swims the fly for a different swim team. The plot rolls by quickly, the dialog is crisp and snarky… and it may be the only book your teenage boy reads all year.
The author Don Calame is a screenwrtier. Should we be looking for this book to be made into a movie?