A first novel that delivers a tale of drugs, love and adventure.
Howard’s captivating debut features a charming, relatable hero, Bobby, and his friends, Vic, Eric “Fingers,” Anna and Jessica. However, the narrative primarily focuses on Bobby’s adventures as a drug dealer and cocaine addict. As his drug problem worsens, he grapples with difficulties relating to his family and friends and distances himself from them. The turning point of the novel comes when Bobby’s grandmother dies; because Bobby is off in his own self-made wilderness, he’s unaware of the news, causing his family to become furious with him. Bobby, haunted by his grandmother’s death and disappointed with himself, sinks deeper into his drug addiction. Eventually, he vows to turn his life around. Although the novel’s plot could be more carefully orchestrated at times, it’s consistently realistic and full of life’s sharp edges. Although Bobby adopts a carefree attitude around other characters, the author reveals his latent anxieties and psychological difficulties as he goes through tough times. Throughout, Howard’s descriptions and dialogue bounce off the pages: “[T]here was enough speed, smoke, oil, pent-up rage, and girl-skin to make any red-blooded male squeal with delight. Up and down the river was a two-mile bevy of hedonistic fervor, a virtual beach-front wallow pit.” The author’s descriptions believably characterize the quips and cadence of his young protagonist, and offer a unique, vivid and natural voice.
A witty, colorful debut about a young man’s struggle for redemption.