Read: Joe

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Another recommendation from my friend Jack. Another good one. Another Southern writer, but don’t let that allow you to think of him as a “regional writer,” which is a strange title I hear from time to time. The characters in this story pertain to the South, but they are universal. You actually know these people, see them, feel for them. This book was like swimming under the Pismo Beach pier on a cloudy day in winter. Not the temperature or landscape, but in the way that you feel like you are in sharky water from the moment the book starts. Dark water, dark characters, big fish, glimpses of hope, but when you open your eyes underwater it’s pitch black. Larry Brown’s Joe is a foreshadowing menace. I mean this in the best possible way. You could feel this book building from page one. I caught myself thinking “Oh man, I think I know where this might be going but I kinda hope not.” I love it when there is someone you despise and someone you would eat a lightbulb for, and this book had both. Get it, read it.

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