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Blacktop Wasteland

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  10,764 ratings  ·  1,931 reviews
Beauregard "Bug" Montage: husband, father, honest car mechanic. But he was once known - from North Carolina to the beaches of Florida - as the best getaway driver on the East Coast. Just like his father, who disappeared many years ago.

After a series of financial calamities (worsened by the racial prejudices of the small town he lives in) Bug reluctantly takes part in a dar
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Flatiron Books
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  • Blacktop Wasteland by S.A.  Cosby
    Blacktop Wasteland

    Release date: Jul 14, 2020
    Enter for a chance to win an ebook of BLACKTOP WASTELAND, one of the best books of 2020.

    Like Ocean’s Eleven meets Drive, with a Southern noir twist, S

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    Availability: 100 copies available, 4186 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Apr 12 - Apr 22, 2021

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 4.11  · 
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     ·  10,764 ratings  ·  1,931 reviews

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    Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: grgiveaways, grit-lit
    looking for great books to read during black history month...and the other eleven months? i'm going to float some of my favorites throughout the month, and i hope they will find new readers!

    if you like this book, or sympathetic antiheroes in general, come see this booklist thing i wrote for f(r)iction

    A mistake is a lesson, unless you make the same mistake twice.

    ugh, i loved this book. i thought it was a debut, but apparently cosby wrote My Darkest Prayer a few years back and it slipped right pas
    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    “They all underestimated him.”

    Blacktop Wasteland is an emotionally charged thriller/character study about a man willing to commit one last crime to save his family and livelihood. His decision might cost all he has worked so hard to achieve: his family, his business, and his identity.

    Beauregard “Bug” Montage, mechanic and former criminal, went straight 15 years ago. Bug possesses exceptional driving skills that made him the perfect getaway driver who could not be caught. Having put his last “j
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Fascinating, invigorating, raw, harsh, adrenaline pumping, one of the greatest reads of the year highly recommended to the lovers of tasty crime novels and noir genre.

    Nope, I cannot give anything less than five gazillion stars because from the first pages, breathtaking, action packed, truly dramatic Beauregard Montage’s story enhances you. You feel the several harsh slaps of reality against cheek throughout your reading journey.

    Beauregard a.k.a. Bug loses the fight with his inner demons, heari
    Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Too expository but the action is exhilarating. It’s like Fast and Furious but literary.
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five fabulous action packed stars!

    Buckle in for an edge of your seat crime thriller that will leave you breathless.

    Beauregard, also known as Bug, is a man locked in a personal battle between two conflicting identities. A man emotionally split down the middle between his past and future. Ultimately, those two worlds are destined to collide.

    Bug is the best getaway driver this side of the ole’ Mississippi! Actually, probably safe to say both sides of the line! Bug is a major risk taker an
    Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Wow. Wow. Wow. Five big stars!
    Absolutely nothing is going right in Beauregard “Bug” Montage’s life. The loan on his business is past due, his kid needs braces and he’s just been hit with a bill for his mother’s nursing home care. So, he goes back to what he did in a prior life- criminal planner and getaway driver.
    This book is sad and gritty, all at the same time. Cosby has created some great characters here, starting with Bug. He’s a decent man who's been handed a raw deal. You just want things
    David Putnam
    Dec 24, 2020 rated it liked it
    Whoa, this book had great potential for being one of those everlasting books—at least for me anyway--like the masters; Chandler, Mosely, MacDonald. Three stars when it could easily have been five. This was a nice comfortable read and I would recommend it to anyone. This is not a mystery or thriller but a well-executed and straightforward crime novel. We know the players, we know what’s at risk—the motivation. And to some degree the reader jumps into the story and is carried along. Voice is the b ...more
    Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: netgalley
    Man oh Man oh Beauregard......

    "Listen, when you're a black man in America you live with the weight of people's low expectations on your back every day. They can crush you right down to the goddamn ground. Think about it like it's a race. Everybody else has a head start and you dragging those low expectations behind you. Choices give you freedom from those expectations. Allows you to cut 'em loose. Because that's what freedom is. Being able to let things go. And nothing is more important than
    Larry H
    Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Now HERE’S an excellent crime novel/thriller for you: S.A. Cosby's new book, Blacktop Wasteland !!

    “You were never out of the Life completely. You were always looking over your shoulder. You always kept a gun within reach, not buried under cement in your basement. Having a gun nearby was the only way you could pretend to relax.”

    Once the best getaway driver on the East Coast, Beauregard “Bug” Montage has put that life behind him. He’s a husband, a father, an excellent mechanic. But lately the p
    Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: public-library
    A dream come true is a fine thing.  Bug Montage has worked hard to turn his errant life around.  He's happily married with kids, lives in a doublewide trailer, and operates a small successful mechanic shop.  After a series of unfortunate events, he stands to lose everything.  There's that dream turning into a nightmare.  Bug makes a decision he can't take back, and he's in trouble deep.  Tough, gritty, and full of some stellar metaphors.  Get ready for a wild ride.  Man, oh man, can that dude dr ...more
    Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    As unputdownable as any work of modern fiction has the right to be. Reminding me of James Sallis' Drive--well, the movie version with Ryan Gosling more so--it has so much action without any clunkiness or daft, macho descriptions (Such as "[he] was hit in the face with a pie that had a padlock in it" [38]). It's got an authenticity with black characters speaking their minds with such realism in such Hollywoodlike situations.There is adrenaline & tenderness packed in a plot that deals with violent ...more
    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    Beauregard “Bug” Montage has gone clean. He used to be the man to get if you needed a driver in a hurry. Not necessarily a legal hurry. He is living the life at the beginning of this story with his wife and two boys. But then a competitor opens up a cheaper garage and money problems start and Bug starts worrying about how the bills are going to get paid.
    Enter in a diamond heist that two dumb butts have the perfect crime planned out for. They just need a driver.
    "I asked around about you, boy. The
    Cosby's "Blacktop Wasteland" is a lesson in what makes a great crime fiction novel. And, when I say great, you better believe it. It harkens back to all the top caper novels. It's all about a guy named Beauregard Montage, better known as "Bug." And, Bug is just trying to go straight, to life a good life, be a good husband, a good father. But, as Springsteen once said, he's got debts no honest man can pay. He's going to lose the garage business he's built up over the years since he got out.

    May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I received a free advance copy of this from NetGalley for review.

    You know how some cars have a handhold mounted above the doors on the interior, and you hear people call them the “Oh-Shit-Handle” because if you’re a passenger and something crazy happens you might find yourself clutching it while screaming expletives?

    This book should come with an Oh-Shit-Handle because it’s that kind of ride.

    Beauregard “Bug” Montage was a professional criminal whose planning skills were second only to his driving
    Jeffrey Keeten
    Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    ”’We are who we were meant to be.’

    The voice in his head sounded like his Daddy. That rough, whiskey-soaked melodic voice that haunted his daydreams. But the words belonged to someone far more eloquent that he couldn’t recall. He ran his finger over the hood of the Duster. People had been shot. They might even be dead. There was going to be major heat coming down after such a brazen robbery in broad daylight. He had a feeling Ronnie was going to try and fuck him over for his cut. Quan was a fucki
    Diane S ☔
    Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5 Muscle cars, yes we had the best cars, among other things like music, back in the day. Opens with a muscle car race that turns out to be anything but ordinary. But was the best get away driver in the past, he and cars were simpatico, but now he has a family, more to lose. This though, is rural Virginia and poverty is king, he tries to keep on the up and up. Opens his own repair shop, but then the other shoe drops and money, well money though the root of all evil, needs to be paid. Hugs is ou ...more
    4.5 stars rounded up

    I've waited almost an entire day before I wrote this review to provide enough time to ruminate on all there is to unpack with this story. Beauregard “Bug” Montage, is the guy you root for. He has a troubled past, but is a devoted father and husband trying to make an honest living. When his past comes knocking, he is pulled back into a life he had sworn off.

    What stands out to me the most about this book is that a lot of the substance can be overlooked because of the many acti
    Richard Derus
    Rating: the full five stars, and *almost* the annual six-stars-of-five read; instead it is:

    WINNER OF THE 2020 LA Times Book Prize for Mystery or Thriller!!!

    "I got a line on a job, Bug. A big one. One that can set us up for a long time. A long goddamn time."
    Beauregard knew there was no honor among thieves. Boys in the game only respected you in direct proportion to how much they needed you divided by how much they feared you. There was no doubt they needed his skill.

    And if they weren't a li
    Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: netgalley, 2020
    Holy shit this was good. Literally from the first chapter this book went off like a firecracker and never let up. Beauregard Montage might be the most inherently badass character I’ve ever come across while reading, all in a way that doesn’t feel contrived by the author.

    I’ve been lamenting lately that the Thriller genre has been too homogenous, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Blacktop Wasteland is a crime thriller that’s full of memorable characters, intensity and a whole lo
    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
    We all know we would do whatever needed to be done to save our family. In this extremely well written book, we learn of a man Beauregard "Bug" Montage who does everything he can to protect and preserve a family he loves, even to the point of death.

    This was such a strong book, making so many relevant topics appear seamless in a story of family, friend, villains, prejudices, and a life that seems to be predestined. Are we what our parents were or can we escape from the things that made our parents
    The Hook I recently read an article about controlling a huge TBR pile. Of course, the easiest rule to try is not to fall prey to every Tom, Dick or Mary's rave review promising everything you most like in a book. In genealogy they call this the BSO, Bright Shiny Object; you can't resist and soon you're down a rabbit hole of secondary research. In the case of the book, it has your name written all over it and once again, before you know it, it's in your hand and every book you own before it, goes ...more
    Jan 12, 2021 rated it really liked it
    For me, one sign of a well-written crime novel is when the protagonist is a criminal, doing horrid things, and you still root for him. You want him to get away with it. You want him to succeed. “Blacktop Wasteland” is that sort of book, with Bug, the main character, possessing the intentions of being a good father, a solid businessman, a loving husband. Yes, he’s done some bad things, but he’s trying to leave those things behind.

    When the story opens, Bug (Beauregard) owns an auto repair shop. H

    Wowzer, what a book!!!!!

    SO GOOD!!! Gritty, raw, intense!

    Full review on blog
    May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

    . . . the real thing . . . is how you drive. If you drive like you scared, you gonna lose. If you drive like you don't want to rebuild the whole engine, you gonna lose. You gotta drive like nothing else matter except getting to that line. Drive like you fucking stole it.

    For a while there, things were great.

    Beauregard “Bug” Montage had a happy family and his own business. His days as a wheelman were long over, and he's walks a straight and narrow line now. But . . . money's tight, and times ar
    Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Fasten your seatbelt! This fast-action Southern grit novel has Beauregard ‘Bug’ Montage careening down the backroads of Virginia at breakneck speed. Beauregard inherited a ‘souped-up’ Dodge Duster from his disreputable father. He refuses to part with this treasure despite the financial pressure he is under. His auto shop is suffering from stiff competition. His daughter needs money for college. His crotchety mother is about to be kicked out of her skilled nursing care facility. He has led a law- ...more
    Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2021, library-reads
    4.5 crime stars

    It’s fitting that this one starts out with a drag race in rural Virginia. We meet the main character, Beauregard "Bug" and his lightning-fast car the Duster. Beau is now a mechanic and family man, but he’s got a past as an amazing getaway driver.

    I liked Beau’s relationship with his wife and two boys, his uncle and cousin, and his strong desire to be a good husband and father. Bills and pressure pile up on Beau from his kids, the nursing home, and a slowdown at work and he gets a p
    Peter Boyle
    Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: crime
    Beauregard Montage (what a name!) has a day job - he's the owner of a struggling Virginia auto shop. But what really gets his motor running (pardon the pun) is working as a getaway driver, and he's damn good at it too. It runs in the family: his father was the best in the business before he ran out on him and his Mom, many years ago, and he stills remembers his old man as a legend. Beauregard has tried to put his criminal past behind him - these days he lives a quieter life with his girlfriend a ...more
    Tinichix (nicole)
    Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2020, giveaways
    This book had some really great writing. It was brilliantly fresh and original to me. A real standout for my 2020 reading. Kudos to the author. Our main character "Bug" is known as the best getaway driver east of the Mississippi, or at least was. He is making a living being a mechanic, a father, a son, and a husband, until he returns to some old ways to help dig himself out of debt and poverty.

    This book feels like having the rug pulled out from under you again and again. It's like trying to cli
    Sandra Hoover
    I finished reading Blacktop Wasteland knowing I wouldn't be able to write a review that would come close to doing this amazing book justice. It's that good! To say this book's release is timely is an understatement, but the release date doesn't matter. In my opinion, this story was destined for the best seller list the moment Cosby penned "The End". Blacktop Wasteland is raw, graphic, and authentic. It seeps into your heart and soul refusing to turn loose, always calling, much the same way Beaur ...more
    Sadie Hartmann
    Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Money can’t fix it and love can’t tame it. Push it down deep and it rots you from the inside out.
    Blacktop Wasteland features a familiar crime noir trope: A man formally connected to a life of crime is trying to live an honest life and raise a family. When times get tough, he returns to what he knows he’s good at to turn a sizable profit, hoping this will be a one-and-done job. He might think he can leave the life but the life doesn’t want to let go.

    We know
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    “Explanations were like assholes. Everyone has one and they are all full of shit.” 5 likes
    “Listen, when you’re a black man in America you live with the weight of people’s low expectations on your back every day. They can crush you right down to the goddamn ground. Think about it like it’s a race. Everybody else has a head start and you dragging those low expectations behind you. Choices give you freedom from those expectations. Allows you to cut ’em loose. Because that’s what freedom is. Being able to let things go. And nothing is more important than freedom. Nothing. You hear me, boy?” Beauregard said. Javon nodded his head. “Alright” 4 likes
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