There is something about Timothy Decker‘s THE PUNK ETHIC that I just can’t put my finger on. And it’s what made me like the book — that raw energy behind it, the main character Martin Henry’s uncertainty and genuine angst, the brevity of the text. These elements wrapped up to make that something that makes THE PUNK ETHIC special, even if I can’t quite describe it.
The story, of course, is compelling. Inspired by comments from his English teacher, Martin decides to put on a charity concert at a local coffee shop featuring as many local musicians as he can, hoping he can adopt a landmine and deactivate it. Meanwhile, Martin is struggling to deal with his feelings toward his best friend Holly and with his own ambitions as a musician. I found Martin one of the most true-to-life teen boy characters I’ve read lately — full of ideas, passionate, and uncomfortable in his own skin. And despite his awkward social status, and his own presumptions about the people around him, the way Martin, fumbles and all, pulls together a community is inspiring. THE PUNK ETHIC is a short novel, peppered with delicious illustrations by the author, and one that makes for a delicious afternoon read.