If you want a book with a compelling, forward-driving plot, this isn't it. But if you'd like to spend some time with a couple of cranky but clearly intelligent old geezers while they shoot the shit, well, this is your book.
I mean that in the best possible way.
You & Me is a book made out of dialogue. Only dialogue. No plot, and we don't even know the names of the two geezers. There's no topic they consider off limits. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don't. The book's intro is succinct and very accurate:
"Somewhere between Bakersfield, California, and Jacksonville, Florida--we think spiritually nearer the former and geographically nearer the latter--two weirdly agreeable dudes are on a porch in a not upscale neighborhood, apparently within walking distance of a liquor store, talking a lot. It's all they have. Things disturb them. Some things do not."
It's hard to explain (at least for me) why this book was so entertaining. Although only 194 pages and in very short sections, it took me a while to read. Probably because, as much as I enjoyed it, I only wanted to spend a certain amount of time with these dudes at any one time.
But when I did drop back into their world, I always enjoyed it. Sometimes it was irreverent and apparently meaningless:
"I'd like to see some flying dogs
Are there flying dogs?
Not that I know of. Seeing some would improve my mood tremendously, though.
I suspect it would. Mine too.
Cheer us right up, flying dogs.
Raining cats and dogs.
Like to see cats bouncing off cars.
Why'd they call combat air battle "dogfights"?
They wanted to see flying dogs too."
They talk about Jayne Mansfield and about language (sometimes making up their own words) and why people behave the way they do, including themselves, in all their faults. Sometimes they're melancholy, although never sentimental:
"Are we going to have fun today?
Are we going to live today as if it is the last day of our lives?
But we know from the testimonials of Close Callers that we should.
But we don't do it.
We can't conceive of how you actually do it.
No. Go ahead. Propose that we live right now as if this is our last day. What do we do? Where do we go?
I want to sit right here and think about The End.
See? Why don't you ACTUALIZE yourself? Have you been to Tahiti? No? Then you must go. Now. Be gone.
See? You see?
God wasted two whole spaces on us as human integers. We're nils in terms of becoming all that we can become."
Sometimes funny, sometimes dark, often thought-provoking, and all without plot. Quite an accomplishment.