Boarded Windows

Dylan Hicks. Coffee House (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (254p) ISBN 978-1-56689-297-1
In his protagonist, musician-writer Hicks presents Wade, a slacker wading through life with little concern for consequences—or people. In Minneapolis, he shows up on the doorstep of the unnamed narrator who abandoned him after being his pseudo-stepfather for several years in late-’70s North Dakota, intent on couch surfing until he can get his act together. Meanwhile the narrator, worried about his houseguest’s intentions, stays busy working fulltime at a downtown record store. Eventually, Wade, an egocentric musician and drug peddler, offers intricate pieces of his and the narrator’s pasts, adding dramatic tension and atmospheric texture to an unhurried narrative buttressed by longing and loneliness. Woven in are reflective flashbacks about the narrator’s mother; a band called Bolling Greene; and the disjointed childhood that created the “cold, passive, and evasive” person he’s become. Glacially paced yet nuanced with fluid prose and a pensive, melancholy undercurrent, Hicks incrementally details Wade’s insinuation into the lives of the narrator and his wife, spilling stories of adoption and missed opportunities that threaten everyone’s happiness. Hicks composed and performed a companion soundtrack for this debut. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
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Ebook - 278 pages - 978-1-56689-308-4
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