Do you remember your radio and Captain Midnight, The Lone Ranger, Junior Miss and Let’s Pretend?
The first time you inhaled a cigarette? Your first swallow of hard liquor? The thrill of the first exploration of the body of your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife… your own body? Your first orgasm?
Remember when as a people we loved America, and showed it?
Then you might be ready for a nostalgic, funny, romantic, sexually frustrating novel. A novel that may remind many of us of ourselves, “way back then,” when God’s most mysterious creation was the opposite sex.
A novel about life and the often funny, sometimes sad, day-to-day things that stir the memories of our lives. Reminiscent of the Neil Simon trilogy, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint and the humorous writing of Jean Shepherd in the mid and late sixties; uniquely original, we are introduced to five-yearold Mitchie in 1939 in an ethnically diverse, lower middle-class neighborhood on the west side of Chicago.
As children do, subtly growing over the next sixteen years,seeing World War Two through the eyes of this Jewish child, and later, lying about his age, joining the National Guard, “’cause girls love guys in uniform.” Accidentally getting caught up in the Korean war at age fifteen, Becoming follows Mitchell’s life in a series of nostalgic, comical, romantic, sad and – because “those” situations with girls, and later women, rarely conclude as young men hope – vividly described, extremely funny sexual situations.
Becoming climaxes hilariously in 1955, in Brighton Beach, New York, when Mitchell is twenty-one and a man. or, because it takes more than age and size to “become” one… the semblance of a man.
“Wonderfully well written it paints a life picture at times through eyes of both humor and disappointment. I was reared in the rural south but this work transcends ethnic and geographic boundaries so that we can easily identify with Mitch, especially in his quest to lose his virginity. Mark’s wit and great sense of humor comes through in a style that holds ones attention long after putting down his book. You just know this has to be Mark’s story and that of those who experienced life with him. This is indeed a book worth reading for the sheer enjoyment of remembering the way we were and those people who made it interesting.”
“As one raised in a Chicago neighborhood around the same time Lichterman grew up in his, I found this coming-of-age novel very reminiscent of my own childhood and adolescence. However, to enjoy this book, one needn’t be from Chicago (or Peoria, for that matter), nor a child of the same era. The scenes, characters, experiences, relationships, conversations and events in this book are vividly and brilliantly depicted in a way that will awaken fond, fearful, and passionate memories in the reader fortunate enough to acquire this gem of a book. It is a poignant, humorous and timeless tale that moves along at a satisfying pace.”
“You just know the author either lived next door or maybe on the next block `cause that’s the way things were growing up in the late 30s, 40s and into the `50s. There was no TV showing “things” or a computer to “Google” what a boy needs to know. It was just day-to-day wonderment and exasperation to face. The story was so close to my younger years that I started to bet myself that he would add other happenings of my life, and he sometimes did. O! The fun, anger, bitter joys of your growing years that the author brought back.”
“Loved the book. It brought me back to an earlier time and I loved being there as “a fly on the wall.” I found it easy to empathize with Mitchell. He gave me great insight into “coming of age” from the prospective of a boy. I wish I could have read it when I was growing up…could have let me understand that those “cool” boys were just as insecure as I. A must for us old folks and certainly a good read for everyone!”