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211 pages, Paperback
First published August 14, 2018
As you get older, the texture of your fear changes. You’re no longer afraid of the things you had absolute faith in as a child: that you’d die in convulsions from inhaling the gas from a shattered light bulb, that chewing apple pips brought on death by cyanide poisoning, or that a circus dwarf had actually bounced off a trampoline into the mouth of a hungry hippo*. You stop believing in the things my uncle believed in. Even if your mind wants to go there, it has lost the nimbleness needed to make the leap. That magic gets kicked out of you, churched out, shamed out - or worse, you steal it from yourself. It gets embarrassed out of you by the kids who run the same stretch of streets and grown-ups who say it’s time to put away childish things. By degrees, you kill your own magic. Before long your fears become adult ones: crushing debts and responsibilities, sick parents and sick kids, the possibility of dying unremembered or unloved. Fears of not being the person you were so certain you’d grow up to be.
Like the derelict buildings that were never torn down, the abandoned shopping carts that rusted away to atoms, and all the other monuments to the city’s general apathy, the car in the oxbow had become an accepted part of the scenery. ~The Saturday Night Ghost ClubI’m calling it right here and right now - Craig Davidson’s new novel is destined to become a coming-of-age classic with the emotional heft and weight of To Kill A Mockingbird and Dandelion Wine. Ever since Cataract City, Davidson has proven his capacity to write from the point of view of children during that pivotal final season before innocence is lost and childish things are put away. There is a realism that’s laced with grit and heartache even as the sharp edges are softened by the dual lenses of nostalgia and selective memory. This is King’s best writing when he’s writing about the same thing -- The Body and The Losers’ Club. And this is definitely one book you won't want to miss – so add it to your reading list right now.
The quality of light in our part of the world was such that, just before night fell, the horizon lit up with an almost otherworldly glow. I never discovered why that was…probably the final rays of sunlight reflecting off the river basin caused this fleeting incandescence. But as a kid I thought it must be because of the sun itself—that unfeeling ball of gas—didn’t want to leave, and so it lingered, clawing up the ragged hub of the earth in order to shed the last of its light over us.”And this:
Imagine trying to hold the tail of a comet as it blazes across the heavens. It’s burning your hands, eating you up, but there’s no malice in it; a comet can’t possibly know or care about you. You will sacrifice all you are or ever will be for that comet because it suffuses every inch of your skin with a sweet itch you cannot scratch, and through its grace you discover velocities you never dreamt possible.The last time writing this good had me feeling this way was The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel.