Jacket Weather - book cover
Dramas & Plays
  • Publisher : Soft Skull
  • Published : 12 Oct 2021
  • Pages : 272
  • ISBN-10 : 1593766939
  • ISBN-13 : 9781593766931
  • Language : English

Jacket Weather

Nick Hornby meets Patti Smith, Mean Streets meets A Visit From the Goon Squad in this quintessential New York City story about two people who knew each other in the downtown music scene in the 1980s, meet again in the present day, and fall in love.

Mike knew June in New York's downtown music scene in the eighties. Back then, he thought she was "the living night-all the glamour and potential of a New York night when you're 25." Now he's twice divorced and happy to be alone-so happy he's writing a book about it. Then he meets June again. "And here she was with a raincoat over the back of the chair talking about getting a divorce and saying she's done with relationships. Her ice-calm eyes are the same, the same her glory of curls."

Jacket Weather is about awakening to love-dizzying, all-consuming, worldview-shaking love-when it's least expected. It's also about remaining alert to today's pleasures-exploring the city, observing the seasons, listening to the guys at the gym-while time is slipping away. Told in fragments of narrative, reveries, recipes, bits of conversation and snatches of weather, the book collapses a decade in Mike and June's life and shifts a reader to a glowing nostalgia for the present.

Editorial Reviews

"Jacket Weather is a triumph." -Shawn Mishak, Cleveland Scene

"[DeCapite] is that rare wordsmith who trades heavily in autobiographical reflections but refuses to succumb to the narcissistic pitfalls of capital-M memoirs . . . [Jacket Weather] describes a very NYC courtship, but one that will charm people who get hives at the mention of Woody Allen movies." -Jordan Mamone, Please Kill Me

"Jacket Weather . . . captured, like nothing else I've read, how it is to talClinton Heylink and talk with someone you love at a certain age in your life in New York City, the city that never stops talking . . . DeCapite is a skilled mimic and chronicler of the sheer poetry of human conversation and you can hear the dialogue, much of which made me laugh out loud." -Ordinary Times

"Effortlessly drifting through the years and narrative forms, this is almost a sepia-tinted look back at a man's life and a past New York. DeCapite is a phenomenally skilled writer . . . The dialogue is rich, believable, and often very funny, and this is a wonderfully unusual meditation on nostalgia and love." -Booklist

"Spare and lyrical . . . DeCapite has a poet's eye for the city's majestic details, and illustrates how his characters come to see the same things differently over the years . . . A worthwhile meditation." -Publishers Weekly

"So very real . . . A sad but sweet song about the uncertainty of middle age and how funny it is when time slips away." -Kirkus Reviews

"Jacket Weather is a beautiful, evocative account of a late-in-life love sprung into being in early twenty-first-century Manhattan, characters tossed forth from the aftermath of the punk rock seventies. Protagonist Mike spins cryptic, poetic observations of his daily life, strikes random and true chords, pen as Telecaster. His plaintive adoration of June, the love of his life, is painted with enduring mystery and great respect. I loved this book." -Lee Ranaldo, Sonic Youth, author of Road Movies and jrnls80s

"I don't think there exists another novel like Jacket Weather. Mike DeCapite has flawless pitch for dialogue and an imagist's eye, and his prose is lucent and uncluttered, but what's really a surprise (and should not be) is this: he's written an almost unbearably tender love story for adults. The days and weeks and seasons and every quotidian detail vibrate with newness and suspense." -Mimi Lipson, author of The Cloud of Unknowing

"Mike DeCapite has an eye for deep beauty in the mundane. He writes prose that makes poetry of just walking down the street. What he observes injects a charged current into life's moments between. Reading Jacket Weather is like listening to the world reveal its secret...

Readers Top Reviews

M. Nowak
I really wanted to like this book but by about 100 pages i just couldn't take the fragmentary style any longer, especially since no new ground was covered. The same gym conversations, the same fawning and uncertainty over the love interest and her past lovers (meanwhile she is still married yet the narrator never seems to wonder what that relationship is like even though it is much more immediate than the love she had at 20 years old), the same occasional foray into life back in Ohio. I thought the music references might qt least be cool enough to carry some of my interest, but they wind up being rather prosaic as well. I guess I just don't understand the point of the style since it seems like there is a story to tell here but it's hard to tell it like this and sustain action through fragments for 250 pages.
This is a very readable romance about reconnecting with someone from the past. It's also about loving NYC and Italian food. The book is both melancholy and quite funny. I think you'll enjoy this book if you live or have lived in NYC and still believe in love. Highly recommended.
Jacket weather is astounding. A story yes, but also conversations, musings, observations. A love letter to a woman, good friends, good food, New York and simply being alive. Occasional sentences so starkly profound that you just drop the book to let your mind follow the prompts, but then continue on because you are compelled to see what happens next. It’s a book that makes it seems as if you’re overhearing a private conversation that you become part of. It sticks with you. I hope there will be more to come.
Jacket Weather reads like an elegiac memoir, a love affair between Mike and June, two soul mates in their 50's, but also between the two of them and the City. Beautifully written, it covers Mike's life in the areas that mean the most to him -- his reunion with the woman he'd known 30 years previously, trips to his original hometown of Cleveland, and his friendships in the YMCA, locker room chat that covers what they made for dinner last night and will make tonight, pasta in all its glory and preparations, and some truly hilariously means of dealing with "gravy." The New York City weather plays a huge role, usually involving storms and "lemon-grey" skies. Also loved the views seen from the window of his Williamsburg apartment with his view of the lights changing on the Empire State Building and the loss of view of Chrysler Building thanks to another black glass tower that seems to erase the structure (my personal favorite) from view. There were many favorite lines, but I'll limit it to: "It's one of these New York conversations you can't tell if she's bored or fascinated. It's a little of both. Bored fascination." But then the line "Humid air blowing up the subway stairs smells like the pachyderm house at the zoo" makes me want to book a flight to JFK now that the City is opening up once again.
Dave C
This is fun and Mike DeCapite's writing is addicting. Makes you want to experience the four seasons in NYC, listen to some great old tunes, and enjoy a home cooked Italian dinner (prepared by Michael and with June of course).