Out of college, employed with a promising future and a young woman in love with him, a young college graduate can think of nothing more than throwing it all away.
22-year-old Carl Daniels and his friends have all successfully scored jobs out of the University of Wisconsin, taking the first steps into successful professional careers, and moving their social world from the university scene to Bar D, a popular bar in downtown Green Bay near the mouth of the Fox River. Additionally a woman Carl has known for years and flirted with over the past year has finally stepped up to indicate her interest in a more serious relationship.
But Carl’s uncle, a Vietnam vet who fought in Khe Sanh in 1968 has moved to town and, between Jack’s strained relationship with his sister, Carl’s mother, and his stories about the war, Carl realizes adulthood can never be a straight line to some “happily ever after”. As the drive to leave home competes increasingly with a straighter, more predictable route to middle class ease, Carl’s world begins to unravel. Relationships that used to be solid fail. The future Carl has long expected begins to seem like a curse.
And as the realities of adult disappointment, failure and frustrations become all too apparent, Carl wonders: Is everything he’s considered the source of happiness a mistake? When will his future start if all he holds on to is what he’s known?
Green Bay Outsiders is a work of contemporary fiction and the companion to Billy Maddox Takes His Shot, the novel in which Carl appears 10 years later.