May 18, 2009 12:00 PM

by Colson Whitehead |

REVIEWED BY KYLE SMITH

NOVEL

Picture Beethoven playing “Chopsticks.” Whitehead, known for serious fiction like John Henry Days, goes with the memory flow in a breezy novel about well-heeled black teens on Long Island in the ’80s. As prep student Benji frets about handshake trends and gets a BB in his eye socket, the book feels pleasant but meandering. Maybe you had to be there.

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