Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
“It was the moment when the chain catches hold on the roller coaster,” writes Rich Cohen in Lake Effect, describing a pivotal moment of his adolescence. Cohen, along with his two best buddies, is headed for his first foray into the blues bars of Chicago’s South Side. The adventure is typical of Cohen’s memoir, which is filled with the rebellious acts of his coming of age in the suburbs of Chicago during the ’80s (a decade, he says, that was “as odorless and colorless as a noxious gas”). New Trier High School—also the setting of a few John Hughes films—provides the backdrop for Cohen’s shenanigans. Like Hughes’ Ferris Bueller, Cohen prefers more inspirational settings, such as Wrigley Field, over the classroom and its drudgery. Throughout the book, Cohen, who also wrote Tough Jews and The Avengers, successfully revisits the highs and lows of his teenage years without getting derailed by nostalgia. With any luck, he’ll do the same when he appears at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Felix Gillette)