5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Story of Growing Up in the 60's
By Amazon Customer on August 3, 2016
How much of this book is memoir, how much roman a clef, how much pure fiction? It’s hard to tell and that’s one of the attractions of this debut novel by John Bancroft. Bancroft writes a tale of growing up in the 1960’s without defaulting to the stereotypical long haired hippy. His main character, a not quite Eagle Scout, makes his way to adulthood, navigating the end of the old fifties culture and the beginning of the new culture in his own idiosyncratic way, relating to historic events as we all do; what happened to me and how did I feel about it. The protagonist is not always sure of the answer and, sometimes, neither is the author. The result is an intriguing novel that presents an convincingly authentic life that is both timeless and deeply rooted in its period. Highly recommended.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted and worth reading
By Andrew Davis on July 18, 2016
This is a fictional, coming of age memoir set in the summer of 1968. Like a Holden Caufield, Izzy, the young, alienated narrator tries to make sense of inchoate events. He meets with joy, missed opportunity, arrest, lunacy, illness and death equally. A central reference of the novel is Melville’s "Moby Dick", and the author uses many of the same literary devices to advance the narrative.
"Autoflick" is a well-crafted and literary book. It’s worth reading.
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good American novel, well paced and unpretentious
ByChristopher Brophyon August 18, 2016
The linear story is covered adequately in other reviews and the author's description, therefore I won't bother to restate the plot except to say that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. It is unique storytelling and a form all its own, not derivative of other books I've seen. This has all the best elements of a self-produced piece, a story with and from the heart, seemingly a personal Roman a Clef as another reviewer mentions without the autobiographical cloyingness found in many amateur offerings on Amazon. Lacking the experience of a life of professional writing behind him and a publishing editor this first novel is nicely put together, well paced, fine looking typeface and formatted though not 100 percent without typographical errors and tense flaws, but none glaring or obtrusive. It is an optimistic tale, not burdened with an overabundance of fireworks or conflict for conflict's own sake, not a page burner but it has death, love, poetic humor and family and Melville as a compass steering it through towards the final Deus ex Machina happy ending. Happy, not trite. It works well, If you read it, I believe you will look forward to future fiction by this mature, thoughtful author.
5.0 out of 5 starsI Flick Butts
By Matt on August 9, 2016
The automobile makes a great vehicle (no pun intended) for the exchange of intimacy. This is as true now (witness the popularity of Carpool Karaoke) as it was in the 1960's when author Bancroft was growing up in suburban Philadelphia. The author gives us his take as he opens his eyes as a teenager to a world that is perhaps different than he thought. The main character grows up in a family lacking in intimacy. He calls his dad, 'Speedy" and his life is one of Boy Scout Merit Badge collection and note taking. And yet, it is in this milieu, riding with his dad and making observations on those folks who flick their cigarette butts from their car windows, that a bond develops.I loved the character development and the eye opening ending as the author realizes that love and intimacy can be found anywhere. A must read!
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing and provocative. A "one of a kind" novel
BySPCon August 10, 2016
For those of us who came of age in the late 1960s, Bancroft deftly memorializes what it was like to experience the first bittersweet taste of adulthood during that confusing period of American cultural upheaval. The plot device of documenting the variations on the "auto flick" may be the most unique method of classifying human behavior ever developed.
On a personal level, I felt that this book was about fathers and sons. I could not stop Izzy's poignant connections to his father and son from serving as the "fun house mirror" in which I was compelled to reflect on my own relationships with my recently departed Dad and my two grown sons.
5.0 out of 5 starsThe perfect summer read
ByHMLon September 7, 2016
A quirky page turner, about coming of age in the '60s, Boys and classic cars, Boys and girls, and Cigarettes and Cocktails. A tapestry of stories that are gently woven together. The perfect summer read.