Sutter Keely, the irrepressible party boy who narrates author Tim Tharp’s The Spectacular Now, is one of YA lit’s most poignant characters. He’s good-hearted and funny- as long as he has his flask of whiskey near at hand. Sutter’s happy with his life in the moment. He prefers not to dwell on the past or the future, a strategy that threatens to implode as Sutter nears the end of high school. A movie of The Spectacular Now was released early in August 2013.
Sutter is a great fan of Dean Martin, a singer/comedian/variety show host from the mid-twentieth century. Martin had a reputation as a drinker; he once had a vanity license plate “DRUNKY.” He was the epitome of Rat Pack cool, with a cocktail glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other. As Sutter says, “The Rat Pack consisted of these ultra-suave playboy singers from back in the days before hippie bands changed everything – Dean, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. These guys knew how to party. They tore Las Vegas to pieces.” (p. 115-116)
So here on Jukebooks we’re featuring the Dean Martin song that Sutter calls his theme song, Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, music by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn.
Continue reading Jukebooks: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp