Book: It's Okay to Lie - If Your Fingers Are Crossed by Jack Flynncategories: Book, Baseball, Radio, Little League, Lone Ranger Show, Fifties, Humor, Dysfunctional Family, Irish-American, Sexuality, Politically Correct, Brother, Sister, Growing Up Story
John M. Flynnabout this book: The title, "It's Okay to Lie if Your Fingers are Crossed," is based on a ritual kids perpetrated in the forties and fifties, which exempted them from the LIAR label, providing that they crossed their fingers behind them, unbeknownst to the person or persons they were lying to.
The hero of the story is eleven year-old Billy Flynn, a schooled and consummate liar, who lives in a suburb north of Fenway Park. With his ironic sense of humor, his unusual way of surviving and seeing through the pretensions of the adult world around him, Billy Flynn could very well remind one of an eleven-year-old Holden Caulfield, minus the rich parents and the sympathetic sister.
But this boy is a working class kid (third generation Irish-American) who would never see the inside of a prep school.
Billy's goals are relatively simple: He wants to "hear" the Lone Ranger unmasked on radio, get a paper route, play centerfield in Little League and obtain reliable information about sex (not necessarily in that order). His means of attaining these goals are beyond-the-pale. In fact, there is an orgasm contained in the pages of this book that the author insists is the longest and funniest orgasm in the history of American literature.
There are poignant moments also—especially the scenes between Billy and his mother, which depict a relationship partially driven by love, but mostly by conflict and mutual distrust.
A reader who appreciates the game of baseball, would especially enjoy this book, because it is baseball as it used to be played by the kids themselves, in an open field without adults hounding their every move. The kids created their own rules, such as 15 fouls and you're out, no one base rule, and when a player hits a fly ball and an outfielder falls into the brook in deep centerfield catching it, it is still an out.
This book is not recommended to readers under thirteen, because the language gets raw from time to time and the story deals with sexual issues—not in a prurient sense, but rather in a developmental sense, as an eleven-year-old might experience it.
The pages are populated by real to life characters and situations, written in a down to earth storytelling style, with a humorous and ironic bite to it, and occasionally a surreal feel to it.
As one reader told the author, "Each page contains a precious jewel, waiting to be uncovered."
"IT'S OKAY TO LIE If Your Fingers Are Crossed" is recommended for adults, young adults, and especially baby boomer seniors who would find the period (1950) of special interest.
The Book Cover was created by Sumner (Sub) Christie, a prolific and talented artist from Show Low, Arizona who also happens to be the kid, Snake Kelly, in the book.
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
Other books by John M. Flynn
Video: From "It's Okay to Lie if Your Fingers are Crossed"
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