Swim the Fly by Don Calame

[Reading Challenge, PPYA]

swimI feel like I’m flying along in the reading challenge! But actually this is only my 4th titles for it. This is on the PPYA list for humor, and I had always heard that this was a funny book (its cover and title do nothing to corroborate this statement-perhaps something that kept me away from it?) and indeed, it was hilarious.  

Matt, Sean, and Coop are three great friends who set their goal for the summer to see an actual real live naked girl.  None of them has ever had any real success with girl and it doesn’t matter how they get to see the nudity, just so long as they see it.  All three are on a swim team and in a fit of desperate to impress Kelly, the girl he has a crush on, Matt volunteers to swim the 100 yd. butterfly.  That sets up the premise for a summer of crazy plans to see naked girls and pitiful attempts to learn how to endure a butterfly race (Matt is terrible at it.) Imagine this book as a summer movie akin to American Pie or something like that.  Lots of funny vulgar scenes that will have you laughing out loud, without ever being too insanely disgusting or crude. Though I thought I might throw up at the thought of drinking Clamato mixed with chocolate milk.

What impressed me about this book was that it was not only funny, but also showed a really great believable friendship (and if I read this as a teenager I would have been very interested in the boys p.o.v. and the realization that they had friendships like I had with my girl friends), some very funny scenes with Matt’s grandpa (who doles out the fantastic advice that when it comes to women tell the truth, tell about your feelings, and tell it all in “excruciating detail”), and a romantic set up that the reader realizes ages before Matt, but is happily not totally blown. 


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