Opioid, Indiana

Brian Allen Carr. Soho, $16 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-64129-078-4
The landscape of Middle America is grim but has glimmers of hope in this outstanding novel from Carr (Sip). Riggle, 17, is on the verge of adulthood and feels like a misfit in the rural Indiana town he has recently moved to from his native Texas. His parents dead, he lives with his young uncle Joe and Joe’s girlfriend, Peggy, more an object of lust to Riggle than a surrogate mom. Riggle’s suspension from school for vaping only amps up his aimlessness. He has one good friend, named Bennet, a fellow high school student and neighbor. They hang out, go to the movies together, and ponder their futures after the recent school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Nostalgia about his mother’s omelets leads Riggle to a restaurant called Broth, where he finds a connection with the chef and almost lands a job. Joe is away from home, getting high—in fact, everyone around seems to get high—and the upcoming rent payment looms large. As Riggle’s week of suspension progresses, flashbacks reveal happier times during his childhood, and there’s an unexpected death, the possibility of new friends, and a threat from a local yokel at the other end of a gun. The first-person narration has authenticity and candor. Carr’s novel is both gripping and timely. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/12/2019
Release date: 09/17/2019
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68457-437-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-0942-5659-7
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