The Kindness of Ravens
"Perhaps they had souls behind Disney software and plastics and they were screaming, trapped in an endless, repeating performance of mock swashbuckling revelry for drone-like millions, entombed in a subterranean gulag under the streets of Anaheim.” Gifted novelist Bardessono offers this cunning observation as his protagonist Daren, a drunken college underachiever, visits Disneyland's biggest attraction for the first time. Observations like this guide readers through the author's relentlessly raw and, often, darkly humorous account of youth and young manhood set in the gritty, neon-colored Los Angeles of the 1980s. Bardessono skillfully weaves a tale of drugs and alcohol in which young men discover the music scene of this lost generation while trying to keep their heads at the same time. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending upon how he views it—Daren meets Lee, an older Native American woman who could change his path. Bardessono's novel is idiosyncratic, hilarious, deeply emotional, and an excellent representation of the time in which it's set.