Invisible by Pete Hautman

May 12, 2011
By Sydney Montague BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
Sydney Montague BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

By Pete Hautman

Friendship can make us do funny things. Who is even considered a friend? Better yet, what does it take to be a best friend? What would you do without your best and only friend?

Doug Hanson is just an average high school outcast. He is infatuated with a pretty girl out of his league, getting beat up by bullies at school, and has an organized intelligent mind. Andy Morrow is his best friend. Andy is popular and lives next door. As the novel progresses Doug tells the reader just exactly how his friendship with Andy works. The novel tells the reader everything but hints about an unmentionable incident at the elusive Tuttle place. As a chain of events unfold and Andy gets into some trouble; but wait, Doug is the one being blamed. A warning now, this may spoil the ending but Hautman throws his readers a curveball at the climax. The reader learns that Andy, whom Doug has been with and talking to throughout the novel, has perished in a fire at the Tuttle place years ago. Andy, Doug’s only friend, is dead. Andy has only existed in Doug’s imagination or…hallucination.
Andy died when he went back into the Tuttle place when it was on fire to retrieve Doug’s prized pocket knife. Andy never came back out. Andy did not speak after that day. Andy did not once ever return to school after that day. Andy did not physically exist after that day. In the end, being a good friend could have been what killed Andy.
Doug has been coping with the past occurrences by immersing himself even deeper into the depths of his own mind. In his mind where Andy is still breathing and the model train city he built is alive. Doug is mentally unstable; however, would he want to be sane? Being sane would mean having to acknowledge and know the pain, the hurt, the loss…all caused by him. Could losing your best friend push you so far from reality?

Hautman’s captivating writing style keeps the reader entertained. As the novel progresses, the reader is unsure of how to feel about the main character. He is a peeping tom invading a girl’s privacy, but immensely intelligent. He is obsessed with fire and demolition that it causes, yet he’s not mentally aware. There are mixed emotions of disgust, sympathy, fear, and perhaps a faint understanding of sorrow. This novel is an easy read that keeps you guessing. As the plot unfolds a surprise arises around every corner concluding with an unseen unpredictable twist that’s sure to kill.

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