Nothing

Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon. Two Dollar Radio, $16 trade paper (178p) ISBN 978-1-937512-11-8
Nothing, an edgy debut from Cauchon, follows Bridget and Ruth (“The first time I saw Bridget,” Ruth narrates, “I knew right away we’d be best friends. Or enemies”) as they stumble in and out of parties under the influence of booze and pills, not enough food or self-respect, and a vicious anger that manifests in Ruth as something more like desire. Oppressive smoke from nearby wildfires grows ever denser, the story’s ticking bomb. James, a wanderer with a stolen gun and a wallet full of his stepfather’s cash, heads Bridget and Ruth’s way, tracking his dead biological father, guided by a handful of photographs and the rumors of some hobos. The hateful sexuality simmering behind Bridget and Ruth’s friendship explodes into a relatively predictable ménage à trois that kicks off a storm of violence, dramatically coinciding with the inescapable arrival of the wildfires. The relationships here are more complicated than they seem—the uncanny physical resemblance between James and Bridget provides a mystery that’s easy for the reader to solve, but it’s fascinating to watch Ruth misunderstand the obvious over and over, her clarity fogged by too many drinks and an inability to see her own value. Cauchon’s characters have serrated edges; they’re impossible to like, but they’ll get under the reader’s skin. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/26/2013
Release date: 11/01/2013
Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-937512-06-4
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