Family relationships and their inherent problems are the key components of
this story. The main character Bo Brewster, as well as the other members of
the anger management group, are confronted by these issues. Bo’s
relationship with his father is shown the most throughout the story. There
are many trials and tribulations between him and his father, but it
basically comes down to that fact that they are both stubborn. This example
from the book shows exactly that, “I disappeared. For almost seven months I
ceased to exist. Dad persuaded Kathy that if I refused to respond to
discipline, my life would amount to garbage; that she could help me by
respecting his embargo absolutely.” (pg.30)
The next selection shows a positive relationship in Bo’s life. It’s the
relationship between Bo and his mother. While Ellen Brewster feels she
needs to support her husband’s parenting, at the same time she wants the
family to get along. “Two days after New Year’s, my mother came into the
bedroom and asked how long I was willing to let this go on. I gritted my
teeth, blinked back the tears, and said, ‘Forever.’ She begged me.

‘Please, Bo. Your father won’t budge. You know how he is. I hate this.'”
This example is a conversation between Elvis and Bo. It portrays the way
Bo’s dad is stacking the deck against his own son for Yukon Jack’s. I think
it’s sad that Bo’s dad would go out of his way to put his son at a
disadvantage with a bunch of college guys he doesn’t even know. “Your dad
was showing these guys a bike out of a catalogand he said he’d get it for
them at no extra charge. They were laughin’ and slappin’ each other on the
back like a couple of yuppie bite-asses, about what a sweet deal it was to
get a five-thousand-dollar bike for free. I don’t know exactly what kind of
daddy you got, Ironman, other than what you’ve said in here, but I figure
he’s settin’ it up for these guys to kick your ass for sure.” (pg.167)
The next example is simply Bo talking about the absence of his dad after
the triathlon. This selection disturbs me personally, because his father
purposely helped other people try to win the race over Bo, and then when Bo
beat them, his dad snuck out so he wouldn’t have to face him. “Dad was
nowhere to be found when I rose out of the water like King Neptune at the
finish of Yukon Jack’s, so I didn’t get a chance to say all the things that
I wanted to say that I’d have to take back laterAt first I thought Dad was
being a poor loser, but later I thought maybe he split because he saw me on
the Ultra-Lite and didn’t want to discuss where it came from. From race day
to graduation we avoided the topic like E. coli.” (pg.222)
This final citation leaves you hanging, unsure of what is to happen.

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You’re uncertain if Lucas Brewster will resolve his problems with his son or
if they will continue, but at least he attempted to untangle some of their
problems by going to a few counseling sessions. “Today I rode my bicycle
over the back road to Spokane and out the Centennial Trail toward Idaho, and
on the way back I passed the building where Dr. Jorgensen has his office. I
saw my dad’s Lexus parked outside. I don’t know what will come of
that-hell, Dad might have been there arguing about the bill-and I don’t have
any expectations. But no matter what happens, I’ll survive, and I won’t
lead a desperate life, because the eight months I spent with that posse of
ragamuffin Stotans led by an undersized Japanese cowboy gave me the power to
let the world be every bit as goddamn crazy as it is.” (pg.227-228)


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