Marcelo isnâ€™t your typical seventeen-year-old boy. He refers to himself in the third person, is often confused by verbal metaphors, and isnâ€™t crazy about meeting new people. He has â€œspecial interestsâ€ in religion, classical music, Halflinger ponies and little else. Thatâ€™s because Marcelo has an Aspergerâ€™s-like condition that limits the natural development of his social skills and causes him to be obsessively interested in only a handful of specific topics. Now his father, a high-powered attorney, wants him to take a summer job at his law firm in the mail room so he can learn how the â€œreal worldâ€ works. Reluctantly, Marcelo agrees. But from the moment he sets foot in the firm, he is confronted by people and situations that defy the logical way he has always approached life. First thereâ€™s Jasmine, the smart and funny head of the mail room whose natural beauty causes Marcelo to feel butterflies in his stomach for the very first time. Then thereâ€™s Wendell, the bossâ€™s son whose slick charm keeps Marcelo constantly guessing at his motives. And finally, thereâ€™s the picture of the injured girl Marcelo finds at the bottom of an office trash can. Who is she? And was she hurt by the company that Marceloâ€™s father is defending? By the end of the summer, Marcelo finds himself made much wiser and sadder in the ways of the real world. But also much more hopeful about his survival in it. While this fresh and unaffected novel will be compared to the ground-breaking Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, it deserves a pedestal all its own for Marcelo’s singular voice and the artfully constructed moral mystery that awakens his awareness of good and evil. The Candide-like Marcelo will leave you viewing your own real world in a whole new light.
3 thoughts on “Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork”
This looks really good–haven’t read Curious Incident, but have been meaning to read that one as well. Good review!
Really makes you think about the way people think. (If that makes sense).
Great read! It’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time meets John Grisham. Thanks for the recommendation. I’m loving your website.