The Sterile Cuckoo

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One of the novels that still charms since it was written until now is John Nichols' first novel, The Sterile Cuckoo; the book is considered a book that keeps the heart of the college love. Many publishers confirm the importance of this novel. For example, in the book back-cover a review by Publishers Weekly states, "Dazzling… [the] funny, imaginative, and pathetic story of the beginning and end of a rapturous love affair between two crazy college kids." The purpose of this research paper is to find out why this novel is so charming and it still does, after more than thirty years, to see to it, there will be an analysis of the story covering every necessary point. The story divides in four main parts. Nichols writes about two years in which Jerry Payne's life changes, by the power of his first love, as Amazon puts it: "we see Jerry Payne, the protagonist, flourish into an outgoing, and then mature individual" (Amazon - #2). The first part is when Jerry is at an Oklahoma Bus Station, there he meets a very unusual and outgoing girl, her name, Pookie; he at the beginning as being a shy person feels somewhat intimidated by her, they take the same bus and sit together. On the road, they were talking for a long time and he becomes more comfortable with her. At one point of the road, they have to take separate ways so she asks him for his address and then he takes again the bus and continues his way thinking about these crazy little girl he have just known. The second part is when he is at college, his life at the fraternity house; but the most important of that part is when he finds her photo in a magazine, and decides to go with his friends to visit her. They arrive at her college making a noisy entrance, and after a little conflict and a breakfast, Jerry, his friends, Pookie and two friends of hers, go to a little road near a river, where Jerry and Pookie separate a while from the others. While they were alone, they talk about how have been their lives, at some moment, she asked him to kiss her, but he was a little hesitant and after a moment, they kissed. Then was when their relationship began, and suddenly, he was visiting her all the weekends, spending a lot of time together. After some months being like that, their relationship become more intimate, but he was not prepared for the next step; until a day in winter, they went to a cheap hotel in the road where they had sex for the first time, in a cold and tiny hotel room. The third part is in spring vacation; Jerry had to stay at the college because he had almost abandoned his studies, and had to deliver some papers. Pookie decided to go with him; as anyone would be there, then it would not be problems because it is forbidden to be women living at the Fraternity house. They had an amazing week, in which the most important was that they were together; Jerry worked in his papers, and then they did several other things. A funny fact of that part is that once, they were making-out outside in the grass and were interrupted by some crows, so she decided to shot the crows. She one night finally hit one of them; she went after it but something happened and she hurt her foot and it was bleeding and they had to call a doctor. The last part is when they go to New York City for the weekend; the things were going well but they had a little discussion when they were talking about having kids. They visited the city and they got drunk, at the other day she was upset with him, she was very upset to what had happened to their relationship, so they decided a pact; they would kill themselves. They would do it with pills, as they were about to take the pills, they began to fight again. Pookie accused Jerry of not caring about her, their situation or nothing, and she threw the pills through the window and shred the pact, they fought for a while and then they went to sleep. At the other day, she told him she would go home, they went to the train station, and stayed there waiting for Pookie's train...
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