When your twin sister dies from cancer you’re allowed to be sarcastic, witty, and critical, at least according to Billy Kinsey. His family may have won the lottery but they aren’t winning everything. His parents are on the brink of divorce and Billy is skating by academically even though he’s brilliant. Billy is sent into a tailspin when Gretchen, an old friend, and Twom, a mischievous new kid, enter his life. He could go along with Twom’s antics, be “saved” by Gretchen, or maybe manage somewhere in between. Billy is on the cusp of adulthood but with a heartbreaking past and an unclear future, will he be able to conquer the tragic age, or will he be stuck there forever? Stephen Metcalfe’s The Tragic Age will grab you on page one and keep you hooked until the very end.
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn't always work- not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven't applied to college.
Billy's life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another's mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie's. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul.
With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.
Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is-Billy doesn't trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age.
Stephen Metcalfe's brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.
About the Author
STEPHEN METCALFE wrote the production drafts for Pretty Woman, Dangerous Minds and Mr. Holland's Opus, among others. His stage plays have been produced in New York and at theaters throughout the US, Europe and Japan. He is an Associate Artist at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and has been an adjunct professor in dramatic writing at University of California at San Diego, University of San Diego and San Diego State University. The Tragic Age is his debut novel.