Sex, drugs and rock and roll. Every wannabe rock star has had this vision for their lives, but never was it more prominent than in the 90’s. For Jason Krabb, that dream dominated his small town Idaho life, as evidence by the coming of age tale Pipeliner by Shawn Hartje. Here is the synopsis:
For seventeen-year-old Jason Krabb, high school life in 1990s Idaho is a world of cargo shorts, cassette tapes, and junk food. Plagued equally by algebra and puberty, Jason sets out to find a girlfriend and become a rock guitarist. His quest is irreversibly jolted when he attends a bonfire and meets an alluring girl from the other side of town and a rag tag crew who are bringing gas lines through the desert in order to keep the lights on in Portland and Seattle, places where Jason hopes to find his nirvana as a guitarist.
Meanwhile, things deteriorate at home. Jason’s pediatrician mom, Leah, sadly faces the twilight of her parenting years while his father, Curtis, contends with the enormity of running a big ticket research laboratory and coming to terms with his son’s wayward path.
Pipeliner is at once a coming of age love story and a comical timestamp of early 90s family life. Set in the fictional Idaho town of Helen Springs, pop. 58,000, its characters are as vibrant as the lofty peaks and purple sunsets of the high desert. Here we find rich farmers, poor ranchers, dutiful Mormons, government honchos, disgruntled vets, drug-dealing bruisers, irksome teachers, and spirited students, all doing their best to keep the lights on.
This novel has some amazing themes flowing through the tale. Examining life in a small town in 1990’s Idaho, readers are treated to the social divide between the classes, showcasing a struggle to bridge the gap between a young man with a desire to be free and a passion for a girl with a troubled past. As Jason struggles to associate himself with the drug-fueled lifestyle of some of the lower-class citizens, he must also contend with parents who take a hands-on approach with their parenting. While Jason’s mom has good intentions, readers will learn that sometimes being the younger child brings more challenges with parenting, and sometimes our children don’t grow up to become what we expect them to.
This is a beautifully written story, showcasing the tone of the 90’s with perfection. The setting of the Midwest is the perfect challenge for a young man desperate to escape to a life of rock and roll. The need for freedom is felt as Jason struggles throughout this story, and yet while teens can identify with that, adults can also see and identify with the poor decision making that teenagers often have.
Overall this was a fantastic story from authors Shawn Hartje. The story of Jason Krabb is a familiar one, and yet it’s told with a vintage voice that 90’s kids can identity with easily, and anyone who has ever wanted to pursue a creative career like music can see the fire that must radiate in protagonist Jason Krabb’s eyes. It’s a wonderful read, and i hope you guys will be sure to check it out for yourselves. Get your copies by following the link below, and be sure to follow Shawn Hartje now!