Planet of the Dates (Hardcover)
Author: Paul McComas
Publisher: The Permanent Press (2008)
Planet of the Dates follows the exploits of Phil Corcoran, a girl-crazed Milwaukee teen stumbling toward adulthood in the summer of 1980. Phil's personal transition coincides with a cultural shift: from Carter to Reagan; from disco to punk; from the last gasp of the Age of Aquarius to the era of "Greed is good." As the story unfolds, Phil, himself very much a product of the 70's, winds up ushering in the new decade in some apt and telling ways. The book's rich cast of characters is anchored by a classic love triangle: the naive yet willful Phil, a sci-fi fanatic and budding Super-8 auteur whose hormones and heart fuel myriad schemes for obtaining hot sex and true love (in no particular order); Stefanie Slocum, the clever teen actress-in-training who auditions our young hero for the role of first-ever boyfriend; and Cheryl Jantz, the dazed yet desirable stoner-girl who's way too cool for the likes of Phil. . .or is she? The story builds to an audacious, near-epic climax that must be read to be believed. But believe it you shall, recognizing with a chill and a chuckle that this upside-down world is, in fact, our own world, and has been all along!