A compelling story of how men who revel in misogyny and privilege can create a brutal darkness.

THE DIVINE BOYS

In Bogotá, Colombia, where the light-skinned, smartly dressed men of the upper class hunt the streets, a group of former schoolmates will discover how far they can fall into a depravity born of their unquestioned privilege.

The self-named Tutti Frutti quintet is led by charismatic Tarabeo and manic, handsome Muñeco, who are followed by the rich, spoiled Duque and eager-to-assist Píldora. Hobbit, or Hobbo, who lives on the edges of the group in class and privilege, is their "interpreter," narrating their history in a blur of disbelief and horror. He begins when they were schoolboys, ruthlessly ruling the hallways, and continues into their adulthood, when they indulge in every manner of excess. All the men feel familiar, and they can skirt the edges of caricature when it comes to their misogyny—for example, Hobbo has a distant relationship with his mother despite his closeness to his sister, and Muñeco has an overindulgent mother, whom we only glimpse in stifling childhood descriptions. The only semideveloped female character is Duque’s girlfriend, Alicia, whom Hobbo calls Malicia, a "playful" nickname imbued with evil—he considers her a friend though he's secretly in love with her. Hobbit is the most self-perceptive of the group by far, but he falls prey to his own brand of narcissism, paying little attention to the ever growing perversion that ultimately leads Muñeco to stalk, rape, and kill a 7-year-old girl from the mountains on the outskirts of the city. The murder of the girl, whom even Hobbit refuses to name as he dissects her body in his mind, leads to an unusual public furor by her family and manhunt for Muñeco, testing the very souls of each Tutti Frutti member.

A compelling story of how men who revel in misogyny and privilege can create a brutal darkness.

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-4312-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Amazon Crossing

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds.

THE SUMMER PLACE

When a family convenes at their Cape Cod summer home for a wedding, old secrets threaten to ruin everything.

Sarah Danhauser is shocked when her beloved stepdaughter announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Gabe. After all, Ruby’s only 22, and Sarah suspects that their relationship was fast-tracked because of the time they spent together in quarantine during the early days of the pandemic. Sarah’s mother, Veronica, is thrilled, mostly because she longs to have the entire family together for one last celebration before she puts their Cape Cod summer house on the market. But getting to Ruby and Gabe’s wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah can’t figure out why her husband, Eli, has been so distant and distracted ever since Ruby moved home to Park Slope (bringing Gabe with her), and she's afraid he may be having an affair. Veronica is afraid that a long-ago dalliance might come back to bite her. Ruby isn’t sure how to process the conflicting feelings she’s having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarah’s twin brother, is a recent widower who’s dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabe’s relatives, converges on the summer house, secrets become impossible to keep, and it quickly becomes clear that this might not be the perfect gathering Veronica was envisioning. If they make it to the wedding, will their family survive the aftermath? Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition (particularly for Sarah and Veronica, both of whom give up demanding creative careers early on). At times the flashbacks can slow down the story, but even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family.

An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3357-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

A curious fetishization of outsiders, outlaws, and the down-and-out.

THE RAVAGED

This debut novel from Walking Dead actor Reedus follows three thematically connected yet narratively unrelated people as they journey to find themselves.

Hunter, a heavily tatted Iraq War vet and self-proclaimed gearhead, attacks his boss at the bike shop after catching him kicking a dog. “Hunter was old school,” the narrator says, rough-hewn but with strong moral fiber and a heart of gold. After learning his father died in a “mysterious house fire” in California, Hunter hops on his Buell S1 motorcycle alongside his buddies Nugget and Itch for a cross-country haul to execute the will. Meanwhile, a wealthy 65-year-old executive named Jack is mugged while traveling aimlessly through South America, neither the first nor the last of his hardships. Jack abandoned his cushy, bloodless office lifestyle after his dying mother told him to “run and never look back,” words he continuously labors to unpack. Finally, Anne, an abused teenage girl in Tennessee, steals her father’s savings and .38 revolver and runs away from home, clobbering her brother upside the head with a cast-iron skillet when he tries to stop her. She connects with her friend Trot, and they join a community of train-hoppers. Co-written by Bill, the story reads like a pastiche of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the latter of which is name-dropped as “great” by multiple characters. Though occasionally hitting some beautiful imagery of the American heartland, Reedus falls victim to implausible dialogue—“Fabiola, you are reading me like a stock report,” Jack says—and overcooked language: “flesh the color of a high-dollar medium-roast coffee bean.” Frequently wordy summaries do little to develop the thinly sketched characters; we know nearly as much about them on Page 25 as on Page 250.

A curious fetishization of outsiders, outlaws, and the down-and-out.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-09-416680-3

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

more