(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. A full list of CCLaP's book-based mini-reviews can be found on its main book page, and movies on the main movie page.)
There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes
By Robert Jacoby
Regular readers will remember Robert Jacoby, who last year gave us the interesting sailing oral history Escaping from Reality Without Really Trying; and now Jacoby has a new book out, a fictional novel this time, entitled There Are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes and concerning the manytimes dysfunctional ways that enforced mental institutions for teens were still working even up to the early 1980s. But alas, although this is a well-written book with a deft stream-of-consciousness touch, which will strongly appeal to those specifically seeking out the subject, unfortunately its
dust-jacket promotional copy declaring it "Girl, Interrupted meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" turns out to be more detrimentally true than I think the author even intended, in that this is mostly a string of well-worn tropes that will be overly familiar to anyone already acquainted with those earlier books. It's a shame, because Jacoby has an engaging voice that could be put to good use with a more unique and more interesting subject matter; but Noah unfortunately is not it, a fine exercise for what it is but a novel that will sadly make most people shrug upon finishing, then will promptly be forgotten. All this should be kept in mind when deciding whether to pick up a copy.
Out of 10: 7.5