Pages: 302 (paperback)
Synopsis: A young man endures a life of violence in New York, broken families, and baseball fanaticism.
She gathered her long dark hair and let it fall over her left shoulder. Then she turned to her right to look at me, her hair no longer an obstruction. When she spoke, I saw her jawline move. It struck me as majestic.
"Yeah?" I had broken my solemn vow. But vows meant very little when her leg was touching mine.
"Can I have a bite?"
I handed her the sandwich. I could have sworn her thumb touched mine when the handoff was made. I looked at her mouth as she took her bite.
Oh my God, it was more than I dared dream. I had just assumed that she'd bite down on virgin bread, but that was not the case at all. Nina Vasquez chose instead to journey down the road that I'd just traveled. Her mouth clearly touched the bite I'd made - she was almost kissing me by proxy. She knew it too, I could tell - the way those big, dark, soulful eyes looked at me as she chewed.
I don't think she knew my life had changed as she swallowed the bite. I wondered if this was one of those moments Grandpa spoke of, where one transcends or whatever. Because I thought I'd just transcended.
Unlike Mick Foley's previous non-wrestling novel Tietam Brown, Scooter is far more compelling, with the title character coming off as - dare I say it? - hardcore.
Scooter Reilly is a fascinating to read about because of the various conflicts in his life. Early on, he just wants to live the American Dream (not to be confused with the wrestler), be part of a close-knit family and grow up as a typical youth in the mid-1960's.
Yet, a series of personal and family tragedies not only ruin said dream, but with each new event, push him further and further over the edge. In wrestling terms, Scooter isn't exactly a babyface by the time he becomes a teenager, but he isn't a heel, either. WWE writers only wish they could write "shades of grey" type characters this effectively.
In one of the more interesting twists I've read in any book, Scooter meets a legendary wrestler (you may have heard of him, but I won't ruin the surprise) while trying out for a high school baseball team. I have to admit, it was the one point in the book I sat up and thought "What a brilliant idea!".
That said, Scooter isn't for everyone. It gets dark and twisted as hell at points, and you're not really ever guaranteed a happy ending. But in doing so, Foley took a much-needed risk, and I think it paid off.
Rating: Oh Hell Yeah! While my belief that Foley could be a great novelist faltered with Tietam Brown, this book certainly restored my faith (in Mankind?).