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Now is not the Time to Panic

Wilson, Kevin, 1978- Book - 2022 Fiction / Wilson, Kevin, Adult Book / Fiction / General / Wilson, Kevin None on shelf 17 requests on 5 copies Community Rating: 4 out of 5

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"From the New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here comes an exuberant, bighearted novel about two teenage misfits who spectacularly collide one fateful summer, and the art they make that changes their lives forever. Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge--aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner--is determined to make it through yet another sad summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who has just moved into his grandmother's unhappy house and who is as lonely and awkward as Frankie is. Romantic and creative sparks begin to fly, and when the two jointly make an unsigned poster, shot through with an enigmatic phrase, it becomes unforgettable to anyone who sees it. The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us. The posters begin appearing everywhere, and people wonder who is behind them. Satanists, kidnappers--the rumors won't stop, and soon the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread far beyond the town. The art that brought Frankie and Zeke together now threatens to tear them apart. Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge--famous author, mom to a wonderful daughter, wife to a loving husband--gets a call that threatens to upend everything: a journalist named Mazzy Brower is writing a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Might Frances know something about that? And will what she knows destroy the life she's so carefully built? A bold coming-of-age story, written with Kevin Wilson's trademark wit and blazing prose, Now Is Not The Time to Panic is a nuanced exploration of young love, identity, and the power of art. It's also about the secrets that haunt us--and, ultimately, what the truth will set free."-- Provided by publisher.

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COMMUNITY REVIEWS

Another delight from Kevin Wilson submitted by Ann H Kim on June 28, 2023, 10:06am I was utterly charmed by Nothing to See Here and had high hopes for this latest book by Kevin Wilson, and I was not disappointed. Once again, Wilson's trademark wit and quirky characters are on full display, and the dual timeline story had me turning pages well past my normal bedtime.

On stories we tell ourselves submitted by cherylo on July 6, 2023, 8:33pm A story of the accidental and unintended consequences of actions, of compulsions, and of diverging viewpoints on the nature of one short summer's events and it's diverse impacts. Narrated largely in flashback, re-interpreting events from another later and possibly wiser vantage showing how more than one narrative comes from the same set of events with different perspective, and how more information changes the narrative yet again. Very much recommended.

Not Kevin Wilson's Best submitted by cdunlop on August 21, 2023, 3:42pm Ever since Kevin Wilson's quirky and original "The Family Fang", I've been waiting for him to produce a worthy successor. Unfortunately, like the two novels that preceded it, "Now Is Not the Time to Panic" does not meet that description.

This novel features Frances "Frankie" Budge, and is set mostly during her teenage years, when she met a guy named Zeke at a swimming pool. Both are rather solitary "lost souls" with absent fathers, and they gravitate to one another. Discovering a photocopy machine in Frankie's garage, they come up with an art project. Frankie, a writer, creates a poster with the enigmatic words, "The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us". Zeke, a would-be graphic artist creates some accompanying illustrations. The machine grinds out multiple copies, which are soon plastered all over Coaltown, Tennessee. Their appearance creates quite a stir (but not really a "panic", as it is often described). A conspiratorial mythology about the posters' origins springs up, and its words become a national meme. Two people die. The summer ends, and Zeke moves back to Memphis with his mother.

Years later, Frankie receives a call from Mazzy Bower, a woman writing a New Yorker article about the "Coaltown Panic of 1996". Bower claims to have identified Frankie as the poster's author, and wants to interview her for the article. At first reluctant, Frankie eventually agrees, but she decides to seek out Zeke to inform him of what is to come. They reconnect, and trade stories about their post-teenage lives. Frankie confesses her poster authorship to her husband and daughter. THE END.

Kevin Wilson possesses a fertile imagination, but what's the point of this novel? It has been described as a "coming-of-age" story, but as such there's not really much to it. The prank in question isn't all that inventive, and it doesn't hold a candle to what Wilson concocted in "The Family Fang". Given that Wilson’s creativity since that novel seems to have been rather constricted, perhaps he is building up for something better next time. Let us hope so.

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PUBLISHED
New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2022]
Year Published: 2022
Description: 246 pages ; 22 cm
Language: English
Format: Book

ISBN/STANDARD NUMBER
9780062913500
0062913506

SUBJECTS
Teenage artists -- Fiction.
Moral panics -- Fiction.
Art and social conflict -- Fiction.
Posters -- Fiction.
Rumor -- Fiction.
Man-woman relationships -- Fiction.
Art -- Fiction.
Identity (Philosophical concept) -- Fiction.
Coalfield (Tenn.) -- Fiction.
Bildungsromans.
Romance fiction.
Domestic fiction.