Form and Content
While related by an omniscient narrator, Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! is filtered through the consciousness of fifteen-year-old Tucker Woolf, whose family has just moved to Brooklyn, which his father advises him to refer to as “Brooklyn Heights.” Tucker’s father has lost his job as a professional fund-raiser, and his mother is temporarily forced to work as an editor and writer for Stirring Romances. When Mr. Woolf develops an allergy to Tucker’s cat, Nader, Tucker must give it up for adoption. Nader is adopted by Susan “Dinky” Hocker, an overweight teenager who manages to transfer to the cat her own compulsion for overeating.
Concerned with Nader’s health, Tucker begins spending time with Dinky, who is interested in unusual and bizarre examples of human nature. Tucker soon becomes infatuated with Dinky’s cousin, Natalia Line, who has recently been released from Renaissance, a school for teenagers with psychological problems. In order to take Natalia to a dance, Tucker lines up Dinky with another obese teen, the ultraconservative P. John Knight. P. John’s ideas clash with those of Dinky’s liberal parents, especially her mother, who runs Drug Rehabilitation, Inc. (DRI), which helps recovering addicts. Spurred on by P. John’s attention, Dinky tries to remake herself, attending Weight Watchers with him and trying to become better read.
During one of Mrs. Hocker’s DRI meetings, P. John prompts a fight between...
(The entire section is 553 words.)