||Tom Perrotta sets these tales in the 1970s. All of them feature Buddy, who progresses from a young Cub Scout to the end of his teenage years, following his experiences growing up in a New Jersey suburb. All of this is territory Perrotta knows well and has elaborated on skillfully in his subsequent books: this very appealing book of stories is his first. Some of the titles are: "The Wiener Man," "A Bill Floyd Xmas," "The Jane Pasco Fan Club," and "Wild Kingdom."
||New York Times bestselling author Tom Perrotta's first book is "more powerful than any coming-of-age novel" ?The Washington Post Bad Haircut explores the themes that have fascinated Perrotta throughout his career: suburban rituals and mores; sports and religion; the cheerful cheesiness of American consumer life; public tests of manliness; and the moral dilemmas faced by ordinary people, parents, and teenagers alike. Perrotta has continued to explore these subjects in novels from Election to The Abstinence Teacher. The ten rich stories here are linked by a single protagonist: Buddy, an adolescent suburban New Jersey boy who is truly seeing his world for the first time and already finding it both mysterious and lacking. Whether he's out on a Boy Scout trip with his mother and discovering that his mother actually knows?and has a history with?the man inside the battered foam hot dog costume in "The Weiner Man", feeling the first glimmer that sex might actually be possible for him in "Thirteen", or finding himself swept along on a prank gone very wrong in "Snowman," Buddy is both a recognizable American boy and a trademark Perrotta hero. Bad Haircut is a moving, spare book from a writer who, even this early in his career, had an assured sense of the complexity of his characters' emotional landscapes.