Fat Kid on the subway platform.
Pretty funny, eh? Fat Kid wonders how funny it would look if he were
to step in front of the train as it enters the station. Will his
fat even fit onto the tracks? Would a leg be left over? As
Fat Kid thinks about all this, he becomes aware of someone laughing at
him. Now, when you are 6'2" tall and weigh 300 pounds, you get used
to be laughed at. But this is different. When he looks around,
he sees a skinny, dirty homeless kid. A kid who knows that he just
saved Fat Kid's life. Turns out that this homeless kid is the one
and only Curt MacCrae. Curt is a legend, man. He is the best
punk rocker in the city. Fat Kid, aka Troy, can't believe that Curt
is actually talking to him. Not only that, but Curt seems to want
to hang around with Troy too. Could it be? Can two such different
young men find anything in common? Can they end up saving each other?
At 17 troy Billings thinks
he has nothing to live for. He is friendless, motherless and at nearly
300 pounds is still invisible to those around him. Things change for Troy
when he stands over the subway tracks considering suicide and someone finally
sees him - not just your average Joe, but a high school legend named
Curt MacCrae who saves Troy’s life and insists on lunch in return.
From this moment emerges an
unlikely friendship between the overweight, self loathing Troy and the
skinny, sometimes homeless, dropout, punk rocker Curt. Curt convinces
Troy to be his drummer and that as “Rage Tectonic” they could become famous.
There is one problem however. How
can Troy be a drummer when
he can’t play the drums. No problem says Curt.
While taking lessons and working
hard towards his goal of playing live, Troy unknowingly and gradually gains
self acceptance. He also begins to sense that there are other problems
in the world other than his own and is surprised to find the tables turned
when he is in the position of trying desperately to save Curt’s life.
This is not just a tale of
friendship and music, it also tackles homelessness, drug addiction, dysfunctional
families, and abuse. The conclusion brings some unlikely heroes to
light. (Kimberly Calhoun, South
Carolina Book Awards, 2006)