Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Book Review: Waste

Read 1/21/16 to 1/23/16
3 Stars - Recommended to readers who don't mind a slow start and time spent on secondary characters
Pages: 256
Publisher: Dzanc
Releases: March 2016

In his debut novel Waste, Andrew F Sullivan drags us down the dark and desolate streets of Larkhill, Ontario, where we meet Jamie, who was once a high school bully, and Moses, a half-hearted skinhead - two angsty dudes who live shit lives in a shit town working shit jobs. Moses hitches a ride home with Jamie one night and the two of them end up hitting, and killing, a lion on a back road. Rather than report the freak incident, they drag the body into the snow-covered ditch and take off into the night. What they don't know is that some men are looking for that lion, large men with long beards who carry power drills as torture devices, who take orders from a man who will stop at nothing to punish Jamie and Moses for what they've done.

After a pretty powerful opening, Sullivan seems content to back things up and takes his time introducing us to secondary characters. But stick with it. While it may appear unconnected at first, your patience will pay off after the groundwork's been laid out and you start following the trails of bread crumbs, each of which ultimately lead back to one of our original two bad boys, Jamie and Moses. From there, the book quickly becomes a page-turner  as everything begins to converge.

This is a bleak book, you guys. Larkhill is home to a bunch of down-and-outers, extended-stay motelers, and drug king pins. Nothing good will come of these wasted lives and the entire town is about to go through some serious pain and suffering, all on account of Jamie and Moses and that goddamn gored-up lion.Yet something tells me they were damned from the get-go. Happy endings seem to have no place here.

The book doesn't release for another month and yet it's making all kinds of waves, already appearing on some Most Anticipated lists. Will it make yours?

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