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The Summer of Crud

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  34 reviews
-Barnes & Noble Press Presents list selection, February/March 2018

-Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist, 2018

-Recommended by Kirkus Reviews

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 i
Paperback, 134 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Almendro Arts
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Archit Ojha
Disturbingly tranquil

I have expressed my turmoil with the oxymoron opening line. Now, let me tell you that this book is not for you if you are into mainstream stories. Or you are easily offended. Addiction and other fancy taboo words paint a gory picture in your mind that you immediately want to shut out.

HECK, this is a kind of book I fail to catalog in a genre. It is chaotic, piteousness spread across the lives of our main character Danny and his internal battle that resets every night.

OK, guys… I am sorry for the below review… this book had me in knots… it still does…

Basically… this book is about a dude, tender age of 22, who has a summer of freedom to escape the start of a teaching job in the autumn and he decided to escape the boring, bland adulting by digging deep and popping out some top chart songs by going on a road trip. Sounds good- ever young person’s dream. Trek across a country, in this case, the great US of A, bang out lyrics and tunes, and become rich without hav
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story is vividly described. It takes a lot of time and effort to follow one's passion and those are the lucky ones to acknowledge their calling, chase it and conquer it.

The author makes the adventures and struggles look simple and you connect with the characters most easily. But let me warn you, there are subjects and topics of drugs, prostitution and homelessness etc. which can hinder your reading pleasure if you aren't expecting them. So, keep in mind before diving into the sea of sentime
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Summer of Crud is disturbingly deep, hypnotising. I suspect this is the sort of writing that is book club worthy. I couldn’t stop reading it even if I wanted. It details the road-trip of a 22-year old, soon to be a teacher, on a journey that he hopes of encountering inspiration that will bring out the song stuck within him. The word ‘details: verb’ is underrated - the lead character’s (Danny) every waking moment in this journey is narrated.

The journey exposed a myriad of issues such as drugs
La La
2.5 on the blog.

This book had its moments, but there were too few for the length of the story. Many of the scenes were similar, so it seemed repetitive. It would have been better pared down to anthology short story length. In fact, to me it felt like it was originally a short story, with filler added to puff it up to novella length. I liked the very beginning of the story, but it slowly turned into eating cardboard.

I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review. I will
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimers: The synopsis section is ©Goodreads but the rest of the reviews are completely my words and of course the quote section is obviously from the book reviewed.
4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"With such pain, every moment is about one thing and one thing only: escape."

Blog; Join The ATB Family

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 ban
Dec 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF at 50%

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

If I could take back the hours this book stole from me I would. What the hell was this even about? Did it have a plot? I mean it had a synopsis but for what? This was plotless and I found myself saying why am I even reading this the more I got into it. To the point where I said ok I have to just give up because this is going absolutely no where.

The story follows a young man named Danny as
Yuuki Nakashima
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
To be honest, I couldn't be into the story at the beginning. However, it eventually turned out that it was an intriguing road trip story. Although it doesn't have a strong plot (or at least, I felt so) every moment was interesting and I did enjoy every single page.

The story is about two young guys' road trip that music, drugs and parties are involved. Their trip was exciting and sometimes chaotic, but I felt it had pathos at the same time and it was the biggest reason why this novel attracted me
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Summer of Crud was an interesting read that brought me back to a time of uncertainty to which many of us can relate – that time in life when you’ve just finished school and are about to enter the ‘real’ world of adulthood, work and responsibility. This can be a depressing and confusing time for those of us that had been “free spirits” in our youth. Especially for those of us that had artistic gifts we hoped would take our lives in a completely different direction.

This is certainly the case o
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy reading this book. However, I would to point out just a few things about the way I read this book.
This book involves a lot of traveling, which I enjoyed very much. It is a bit unexpected, which did not bother me while reading. The main character was indeed funny, and the trip itself full of exciting moments.
This book is about a young man that just finished college, and he is questioning certain problems in his life while travelling.
This is worth reading on a Saturday night when you
Jack Stark
Mar 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: contemporary
1.2783 stars.

You can read my more in depth review of this on my blog where I swear a lot about how much it irritated me - Random Melon Reads!

I woke at 6:30am as was the usual for me. I turned to my bedside table and grabbed a fresh bottle of water. I drank the lot in one go. Nothing irritates me more than that morning dehydration. I dragged my lifeless body into my en suite bathroom. Shit, pissed and showered. I brushed my teeth and stared at my lifeless dead eyes in the mirror. Sometimes I wil
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘San Francisco was about art. LA was about making it big.’

California author Jonathan LaPoma not only writes novels (three to date) but also screenplays, poetry and songs! He earned his BA in history and a secondary education credential from the State University of New York at Geneseo, gathered ideas or seeds for future novels from his travels both the US and Mexico, began writing and winning awards for his works, and now teaches secondary school in San Diego. The handsome young artist explores t
Yawatta Hosby
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
***I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review***

I enjoyed this book. Danny was the main character with Ian being his road trip buddy. Tension started from the very beginning when Ian wouldn’t let Danny put his stuff in the car. The author did a great job with dialogue. Their fights seemed so real that I often wondered ‘how in the world can Danny be friends with Ian? He’s a jerk for no reason.’

My favorite lines: 1) We woke up late the next morning to the smell of fireworks and hot do
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 disturb ...more
Cyan Night
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a thoughtful, well-written book, short, sweet and straight to the point. There is a substantial amount of profanity and various other adult subjects right from the very first chapter, not for the faint hearted and not for those who like block buster style commercial writing. Yet it is easy to read, the extensive dialogue between Danny and Ian, their complex relationship kept me wanting to know more. I finished the book rather quickly. The ending was good - simple, real and convincing. My ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I am leaving this review voluntarily, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

During the last summer before starting his teaching job, 22 year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country road trip with his friend Ian Perez in hopes of finding the inspiration that will take his songwriting to the next level. As they travel from place to place we see them party and get high almost constantly wh
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is based on an ARC of The Summer of Crud which I received courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher (Almendro Arts).

Though The Summer of Crud is short, MAN is it deep! This narrative is chock full of harsh observances of human nature and insecurity. The main character Danny gives us some excellent internal monologuing throughout the book, filled with his insight of what it's like to be living on the other side of social acceptance. Plagued by anxiety, depression, physical ailment, and
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book through in one sitting, yet the storyline did not stick with me as much as the experience of reading this book did. It was as if the author's words were carrying me along like a strong current until I reached the end, washed up on the shore and not sure of what had just happened. This book is definitely weird, but enjoyably so. Most enjoyable in my opinion is the protagonist's frankness; I found it a daring piece of work but would not be surprised to see it receiving criticism f ...more
Lisa Bentley
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh dear.

For me, The Summer of Crud by Jonathan LaPoma had so much promise. I am looking for a book in the New Adult genre to blow me away and I have yet to find one. I had all my fingers and toes crossed that The Summer of Crud would be it. That finally I would have found a book to give me that satisfied book feeling.

It turns out that The Summer of Crud was not going to be the book to make me feel that way.

Jonathan LaPoma is a good writer. I am not saying that he isn’t but for me something just
BadNewz Brown
As someone who’s known Jon most of his life, I connect with this book differently. See, during the time he was taking these adventures we were in and out of touch. Both young, and very explorative. Instead of spoiling the plot of this novel, I’ll just say a few things. To me, this is a story about stretching one’s limits by any means necessary. A young man seeking to take a bite out of the world, even if it breaks his teeth. In this journey, you’ll learn about the heights and boundaries of frien ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
"They thought I was dirty. They thought I was weak. I was stronger than any of them; I was holding up the weight of the world."

Oh, good lord, the ennui. This must be what stereotypical grandmothers mean when complain that kids these days have no problems and are depressed about nothing. A depressing but fortunately brief road trip story about two 22 year old with the maturity of 14 year olds — they see the coolest parts of the country, smoke everyone's weed for free, they're supposedly broke but
Bárbara Kathyn
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The book is wonderful. The author is incredible. I recommend reading all books by this author
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
DNF @ 40 %

I tried multiple times to get into this story and just couldn't. I pulled this off NetGalley read now.
The book starts with two young men out of college taking a cross country road trip, both seemingly for very different reasons. They make stops along the way, all of which were haphazard and didn't seem to fit into the story in enough detail. The two MC's constantly bickered. Danny had bathroom issues which I didn't read far enough into the book to see where that stemmed from. It remind
#TheLIAs | Alia & Julia
I wasn't a huge fan of this book. It was all over the place in what it was trying to convey. The characters were unlikable and I don't think anyone could relate to any of them. Which is pretty much a requirement for any book that's trying to be a coming of age, or trying to "find yourself" type of book. Most of the dialogue seemed predictable, stereotyped, unnecessary, or a combination of all three. I feel like it missed the point it was trying to make, if it had one at all.

For a more detailed r
Chrisoula Panagoulia
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately The Summer of Crud didn't Live up to my expectations. I felt it was boring and dragging on and on. However, I do not want to underestimate the author as this is his way of writing. I recommend this book though to everyone, especially YA.
Nicki White
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I pick this book up off of NetGalley read now section, These are the books you don't have to wait to hear back from the publisher on. I already have enough I'm waiting to hear back on but also wanted to have a read now. I browsed and the cover was what jumped out me. The total artistic vibe so matches the inner workings of this book. As I read the synopsis I was drawn more into reading the piece. Very rarely do I come across books that solely focus on a male lead, with the exception of books fol ...more
Joel Leonidas
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A road trip that vividly lives through every bad corner from drugs, addiction, sex, booze, and parties. At the same moment that the one’s life could be still undecidable. Succeeding in college may not be the final hardship but the time to decide your future worth. Yet, Danny chooses this opportunity to find his tempo and notes in starting a band with his music besides him before he decided to fulfill his teaching career.

This book has lots of music playlist. Some of them are likeably relaxing and
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A couple of college graduates are on an end of college adventure traveling across America looking for hope, drugs & musical inspiration! Unfortunately it comes with a massive dose of paranoia & pain! Interesting read! ...more
"Ronnie handed us more shots, and I took another down. It started to come back up, but I took some deep breaths and held it in. For dinner we went to a fish place near the bay, and Ian and I shared the cheapest dish they had. We squeezed into Sam's truck and drove back into the guts of San Fran. He parked a few blocks from his place, and we walked the rest of the way, passing a street littered with homeless kids. They played bongos and sang off-key and mouthed off to passersby. One kid about my ...more
Victorique Crawford
I feel as though the plot was just nonexistent, but all else was interesting.

And the main character was going through an interesting time in his life. But it just didn’t draw any attention at all for me.

The writing is very well tuned to showing the voice of the main character. I really could connect with him and understand him. But I just didn’t have much caring for the story as it seemed largely plotless.

The plot just felt all over the place and I really didn’t care or know what was happening.
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Jonathan LaPoma is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, songwriter, and poet from Buffalo, NY. In 2005, he received a BA in history and a secondary education credential from the State University of New York at Geneseo, and he traveled extensively throughout the United States and Mexico after graduating. These experiences have become the inspiration for much of his writing, which often explores ...more

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