Dan Wakefield – Going All the Way

101. Going All the Way by Dan Wakefield (1970)
Length: 307 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 27 October 2013
Finished: 29 October 2013
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 2 October 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and had read and enjoyed Returning: A Spiritual Journey by the same author in the past.

Two former soldiers who served during the Korean War meet each other on the train going back home to Indiana. Willard ‘Sonny’ Burns – the photographer for the school newspaper when he was in high school – was a quiet, shy and rather introverted student, whose high school years were wholly unremarkable. Sonny has grown into a quiet, shy and rather introverted adult – preoccupied with thoughts of sex and women. Tom ‘Gunner’ Casselman – the typical ‘Big Man on Campus’ when he was in high school – was incredibly popular, with the type of reputation that inspired awe in his peers. 

For good or ill, Sonny and Gunner search for love and fulfillment throughout their travels in middle America. They form an unlikely friendship after that first meeting on the train. In fact, it comes as a huge surprise to Sonny.to discover that Gunner truly respected him in high school. Sonny’s unpretentious and inconspicuous demeanor was the quality that Gunner most admired. What follows is a coming-of-age novel about growing up in a time before free love, Vietnam and AIDS. 

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; quite a bit more than I was actually expecting I would. It was a very funny story, although in my opinion, Sonny and Gunner’s friendship was probably not the most advantageous relationship for either of them. This book was a best-seller in 1970, and is considered to be Dan Wakefield’s most famous novel. I give this book an A+! 

Going All the Way was made into a movie in 1997 and won an award at the Sundance Film Festival. It starred Jeremy Davies as Sonny and Ben Affleck as Gunner. 

A+! – (96-100%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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