Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe

Preston Norton
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Mar 25, 2019

An engrossing story narrated by a wonderfully entertaining, snarky protagonist.

Cliff is the biggest geek (6'6" 250 lbs.) at a small town high school in Montana, mercilessly mocked about his size--thus the nickname Neanderthal--and social awkwardness. His alcoholic dad regularly beats him for liking science fiction instead of football. And he's still hurting horribly from the suicide of his older brother a year ago. Then Aaron, his biggest antagonist, quarterback of the football team, and most popular guy at school wakes from a head-injury-induced coma with a strange admission. God spoke to him when he was out and gave him a mission to make their school a less cruel, awful place. He has five impossible tasks to accomplish. And he has to get Cliff to help. God says.

Cliff surprises himself by agreeing and opens the door to a most unusual and unexpected friendship. He finds himself swept up in all kinds of new experiences far outside his comfort zone, involved in all kinds of encounters with people he never expected, getting scabs from his worst wounds picked along the way. His tale is both humorous and heartbreaking, always engaging, and completely human and authentic. I'm bummed it's over.

Highly recommended.          

Reviewed by Chris K.
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