At the age of thirteen, one should not be expected to discern between good literature and awesome books. Victor Berry hadn’t read an awesome book since he was in the fifth grade. The Hoover Claus Junior Critic Silver Pen award had gone to Mr. Berry in late December of 2003. It was elementary school winter break and Victor Berry had just unwrapped the remote control helecopter that had been sitting pine-needled all morning, an explanding red flash under the Christmas tree.
Of course it was expected that Berry should make a speech about good literature before dinner that night. While Berry’s old man was re-drooping the dumb tinsel around the lower branches, Berry proposed that it would be best if he simply read the essay which was sure to catalyze his acceptance into Stanford University, home of the Stanford Tree; Mrs. Roth had already said that his chances were grossly fantastical.
Victor Berry stood at the head of the table with his five pages of earth-shattering, award-winning commentary. His critique of Darryl Krune’s critique of For Whom the Bell Tolls which identified the very gigantic book as being a “primary pychoanalitic exposé of positive modernism with postcolonial tropal lietmotifs” was scathing. Hemingway’s authorial bombastisizing of the Spanish Front in WWI was cruelly unpretentious. The way in which defenders of the Republic were depicted to kill their fascist neighbors and friends was a blessing in diguise for those who know anything about the American Revolution. The love story was yeomanly for Maria and crusifying for Jack. Everyone found peace in their own likeness.
Five months later, Berry won a Junior Genius Fellowship for his “scholarly potential related to work in deconstructionism and lexical experimentation.” It was Victor Berry’s fourteenth birthday.