Calling Home by Michael Cadnum

() This book is drawn from the weird discovery that just one punch can actually kill a man. That’s how the main character mistakenly kills his friend when they were drinking together in their hometown, Oakland. Instead of facing the accident and calling the police, he hides it for weeks on end. His main mode of doing this was to impersonate his dead friend over the phone, in order for his parents to believe he was none other than missing. Eventually, everything catches up with him.
This novella addresses issues not commonly discussed, such as the problems of teen alcoholism and violence caused by societal norms. The reading can get a little slow in between main action scenes – namely the best friend’s accidental death and the end resolution – and many of the details don’t seem of much literary importance. But the story represents reality in a non-softened image – people can be stupid, sick, and panicky, and often many situations are out of our control.

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