ROTTERS by Daniel Kraus


Age Range: 14 & up
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After the tragic death of his mother, Joey is shipped from Chicago to a father in Iowa he’s never met. The town’s majority immediately and vehemently rejects Joey based solely on his bloodlines, and it doesn’t help that his sleuthing reveals that the stench enveloping his father’s shack stems from illegal grave robbing. However, bullied from every side, he decides a bond with his father plucking valuables off corpses is better than not belonging at all. With countless oozing, festering descriptions of decay both physical and mental, this is not a story for the weak at stomach. At times, the near tangibility of cracking bones, icky vermin and self-mutilation seems gratuitous, but how else to describe such a gruesome realm of morbid artistry? A first-person narration from 16-year-old Joey provides a genuine foray into the mind of an intellectual young man who injects himself into a seedy brotherhood with hopes of simultaneously belonging and escaping the demoralizing social mores of small-town life. A cerebral romp through a fascinating, revolting underworld. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-385-73857-6
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2011


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