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The Squid and the Whale Summary




Park Slope, Brooklyn, 1986. When Walt Berkman, an impressionable 16-year-old, passes off the Pink Floyd song "Hey You" as his original work and performs it at a high school talent show, he's perfectly content with his rationale. "I felt I could have written it so the fact that it was already written was kind of a technicality." At the same time, his 12-year-old brother Frank drinks beer and wonders openly about his mother's sex life. Both are simply reacting to the fall-out from the bomb dropped on their comfortable family life when their parents, Bernard--a once promising author and now middle-aged academic and Joan--a burgeoning writer with a book deal--announce that they are splitting up. The familiar, steady foundation is shaken. Walt and Frank are relegated to alternating weekends and a jumbled calendar of Mom or Dad nights. The kids are left to grapple with the confusing and conflicted feelings that arise from the sudden collapse of their parents' marriage.