Think of your days in high school and tell me you don’t wonder what would have happened if things had gone just a little differently; a different best friend, a better second date, or more success with the popular kids, sports, or other entertaiment. Get the picture? That’s what Shawn Hartje shoots for in Pipeliner, a coming of age story about a kid growing up in Idaho (you da pimp) but “bound for glory in Portland and Seattle, exotic places where he planned to become a famous rock guitarist—once he escaped from Helen Springs, population 58,000 and hub town of southern Idaho.”
When you are 17, everything is possible, and everything you want is out of reach, even in Jason Krabb’s world of the 1990’s, a punk/grunge guitarist wannabe trying to make it with a new crew in town, girls and guys, bringing gas lines through the land. Pipeliners.
Hartje has direction in his writing, a plan to bring some wit and sense to everyone’s younger days. The writing is descriptive, if slightly direct-narrative, the plot moderate and filled with the sex-topics of high schoolers and after-high schoolers in a “what did you do on your summer vacation,” saga. Nostalgic for yesteryear? Then this story is tuned to the right station for you.
Pipeliner runs 248 pages, published by Helen Springs Press in late November, 2016. Kindle edition is $3.99.