Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hot review of Training Wheels, a novel set in the blistering summer of '74

Michael Stringer
Training Wheels

'Training Wheels' - Michael StringerA nonprofit fundraiser turned novelist, Michael Stringer, has authored a blistering fictional memoir entitled Training Wheels, a coming-of-age story that depicts a family's internal strife and struggle with radically shifting priorities and a sexually charged household atmosphere.

Told during three tumultuous weeks in the summer of 1974, the story features the sinfully candid, first person narrative of Kevin Copeland, a 15-year-old athlete, rock music lover, and youngest of four children. Kevin is a painfully inquisitive, girl-crazy young man who falls madly in love with the wrong girl at the worst time. Shelly is the wrong girl because she's the bold and seductive daughter of his father's mistress, and it's the worst time because Kevin's younger sister has hit rock bottom with drugs and counterculture friends, and his parents' marriage is rapidly coming unglued.

Kevin's certainly not alone in making irrational choices. After the radical '60s, many Americans turned introspective, searching for ways to redefine their beliefs about love and happiness, becoming desperately lost along the road. Kevin gets caught up in the free-love movement, too, risking everything to pursue the voluptuous girl of his dreams. Kevin's journey into first love becomes a perilous adventure that forces both families to face the bitter truths and harsh realities of their misguided decisions, of which there are many. All the mayhem reaches a fever pitch when Kevin and his disgruntled father lock horns in a ruthless showdown.

Stringer has shrewdly framed this story by blending the themes and styles of The Wonder Years, the popular TV show from the '90s, with The Ice Storm, the movie released in 1997 about the self-indulgent '70s.

"Training Wheels is a poignant and gripping family tale set in Los Angeles during an era symbolized by Watergate, happy faces, pet rocks, mood rings, and streaking," said Melissa Newman, author of House of Cleaving and Sister Blackberry. "It's no wonder that some people went a little... adrift."

During the early part of his career, Stringer wrote for newspapers and magazines until he finally decided to take on the challenge of pursuing a long-time goal, writing a novel.

Print and e-versions of Training Wheels, can be found at and as well as other online and bricks and mortar book stores wherever books are sold. Information about the book and the author can also be found at the publisher's website:  

Review originally featured at

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