As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a sucker for novels about excess – money, power, caloric intake, you name it. Throw in prep school kids, twenty-something debauchery, and a European destination, and I’m sold.
Stan Parish’s novel Down the Shore first came to my attention through a blurb in Cosmopolitan. Definitely a sign of quality literature, I know. I’ve since had the title on my ever-growing “to read” list, but I was too cheap to pay the full cover price. So I waited it out, like any good bargain hunter would do.
I’d say it would’ve been worth the $12 splurge. I finished Down the Shore in a day and a half. It was a fast-paced read filled with drugs, alcohol, and financial crime. There are even a few cameos by a partying Prince William – which I have a funny feeling are not-so-loosely based on real events.
The story follows protagonist Tom Allison as he graduates from a prestigious East Coast prep school. The son of a struggling single mom, he is slated to attend an Ivy League university until he gets busted for selling drugs to his wealthy peers. Don’t worry, this happens before the book even begins. To get his record back on track, Tom decides to attend St. Andrews University in Scotland. At the last minute, his classmate Clare decides to join him to escape the shadow of his criminal financier father.
The novel follows the boys throughout their first year of college across the pond. They soon realize that escaping the United States doesn’t mean escaping their troubled pasts.
I haven’t exactly had a rebellious phase – yet! – so I suppose I like to live vicariously through characters like Tom and Clare. Down the Shore appeals to both guys and gals of college-age and beyond – rebels or not. 😉