Lance Rally is a ragingly ambitious, music and movie obsessed, tragically romantic young man who tries to find "cool" while attending college during the 1980s. He faces pressure to live up to his super-achieving family and is fueled by a grandiose ambition. He wants to become a success, but is prone to distraction and obsessed with pop culture. He also has a deeply romantic nature and, though inept, he is sincere and falls in love easily. He discovers emotional complexities as relationships with a beautiful psych major and a feisty goth girl change him. Friendships with a punk rock actor and a subversive scholar challenge his careerist world view. He risks disaster as the clock of academia ticks on.
The Pursuit of Cool is an intense and emotional ride through album covers, dance techniques, all-nighter revelations, and corporate internships gone bad. The story comes alive with music and movies which give Lance solace as he questions his beliefs and his heart gets crushed. He tries to capture that elusive quality, that magic of youth, the essence that is "cool."
With strong reviews from Kirkus, Midwest Book Review, Writer's Digest, and many others, this novel is a Winner of a Next Generation Indie Award. It appeals to fans of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, and fans of John Hughes movies. It's the definitive novel about the 80s. It gets past the stereotype, to the way things actually were in the 80s.
“An experience as moving and thought provoking to its reader as it is to its hero.”
“A skilled writer… A smart account of ’80s college kids… the novel believably summons the ’80s, complete with floppy disks, 9 1/2 Weeks on VHS and R.E.M. cassettes.”
--Kirkus Indie Review
“…A novel surrounding college student Lance Rally, as he seeks to rise to the top of the social ladder by finding what cool is, only to be swept into the whirlpool of its many definitions. With plenty of humor and a strong moral on the purpose of youth, The Pursuit of Cool is a strong pick for general fiction collections and those who want an original take on the college dynamic.”
--Midwest Book Review
"Lance...such a lovable character! The lovable male character who is kinda goofy and different, loved easily, intelligent, but who has a depth... I loved it!"
"...An excellent job of taking a character and creating his time and place perfectly. A totally enjoyable flashback ride.."
--Dew on the Kudzu
"A great debut, and I can't wait to read more from Robb Skidmore."
--The Book Fetish
“The characters are so well-developed and precise, I am already envisioning which actors would play them on the big screen.”
“A splendid job… The lively dialogue is the real music of this novel.”
Join Lance on his intense ride!