The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato gets your attention by its title. I bought it because I was told that the story was based around people who frequented a basement bar in Chapel Hill during the early 1990s. While the story never comes out and says it takes place in Chapel Hill, it is clear that it’s similar. Also, the bookstore owner recommended it.
I like reading books when I can pick out places in which I believe the author was referencing within the story…for example, was Millboro really Pittsboro and if the barbecue place near Millboro is supposed to be Allen and Son’s in Pittsboro? She used a lot of Socrates and Plato and Greek mythology on life themes and coming out of darkness to parallel Josie’s journey of self discovery as she experienced first love and heartbreak, disappointment and the harsh realities of young adulthood in the early 1990s. It was intelligent reading with a mostly light hearted story with a tinge of darkness thrown in here and there…about the concept that family isn’t always blood and isn’t always a rubber stamp…there is plenty of unresolved injustice that we all live with for the rest of our lives…and how fate is really a result of our choices, not some predestined eventuality.
Good little read – I enjoyed it a lot. It moves quickly and has interesting, relatable characters. Also, since I was not much younger than Josie during the time period, I like relating myself to the times.