The Summer of Crud by Jonathan LaPoma

 The Summer of CrudThe Summer of Crud by Jonathan LaPoma
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Summer of Crud by Jonathan LaPoma is a literal cross country road trip and a figurative journey to the darker places of the mind. Danny, along with his friend Ian (is he really a friend though?), split gas cost, leaving their hometown and hopefully problems behind in search of something better. Chapter by chapter, it becomes apparent Danny has not been mentally well for some years prior to this cross-country trip. Being subjected 24/7 to the mental abuse and mind games of his equally disturbed road companion and ”friend” Ian, challenges Danny’s lucidity even more. The narrative is twisted enough to be intriguing, but not so much that it’s a turnoff. I caught myself wondering about past physical or mental abuse that could have driven Danny to his current state of mind. The Summer of Crud is a deep, unique, extremely well-presented narrative of self-awareness while declining into mental illness.
Available 20 Feb 2018

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 The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.

Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for this inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.

A deeply disturbing and psychological coming-of-age novel, THE SUMMER OF CRUD explores the complexities of friendships, masculinity, sex, mental illness, and addiction, and shows how the quest to unlock one’s creativity can both inspire and destroy a person.

*THE SUMMER OF CRUD is the first book in a loosely linked trilogy with UNDERSTANDING THE ALACRÁN as book two, and DEVELOPING MINDS: AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY as book three.

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