I am very excited about the upcoming release of my new novel, The Fly Strip, which will be in book stores in September. My publisher, Waldorf Publishing, has submitted my book for pre-release reviews, and I am grateful and honored for the kind reviews that are coming in.
I would like to take this opportunity to share the latest review from D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review:
“The Fly Strip opens with a letter written by the angst-laden Weed Clapper, a teen who is on a bus, moving to Indiana to live with an unfamiliar relative. One might anticipate from this that the story will revolve around his struggles with family; but set as it is in the turbulent 60s, when racial issues are turning into hotbeds of contention across the country, it’s only logical that Weed’s coming of age introduction to adult society will involve more than family strife.
One of the first notable features of The Fly Strip is Weed’s wry sense of humor, which captures images of his world with the precision and finely honed finesse of a sharp pair of scissors, snipping out facets of the world he observes with a delightful critical perspective: “I’m looking out the window at nothing but miles of flat land. These may be America’s fruited plains, but there isn’t a fruit in sight. It’s the saddest expanse of nothingness I’ve ever seen. Even the cows look bored. Midwest farmers should definitely be on alert for a bovine suicide pact.”
Under Gwen Banta’s hand, protagonists come alive (“I’ll be paying, and I’ll have a vanilla Coke,” I replied…but not too friendly myself. (Honestly, I’m a really nice guy in spite of how this sounds, but my nerves are a bit on edge these days.) “Hmmm, all the other kids order cherry Cokes,” Snarls sniffed, like he was the Betty Crocker of fountain drinks.”), and the vivid method Weed uses to describe his world is what succeeds in bringing it to life with more than a wry sense of snarky observation.
Carry this nicely-posited sense further than scenery and everyday characters and use it to inspect civil rights issues and social change and it’s evident that something special is being finely tuned in The Fly Strip. Think Catcher in the Rye, but with a greater focus on social events. Think To Kill a Mockingbird, but with the mature eye of a seventeen-year-old who still finds his world confusing, but who is able to remark on it with jaded (yet pointed) precision.
As readers pursue The Fly Strip, one thing becomes evident: this is an extraordinary coming-of-age story …
The humor may not always be for everyone: many times black humor is embedded in the story (“Robert is from Long Island, and he’s a lot of fun. He told us that although New Yorkers have the reputation of being a bunch of unfriendly grouches, they’re really very social and always show up in large numbers when there’s a group shoot-out. That killed us.”), but the delightful injection of unexpected moments and the feelings of a soon-to-turn-eighteen boy who just wants to escape the madness growing around him makes for a delightfully personal and engrossing read.
As Weed searches for meaning, love, God, and stands at the pinnacle of success posed on the thin edge of disaster, so readers come to not just understand his world and his life, but to embrace them.
Fans of coming-of-age sagas who look for gritty, realistic reads and, most especially, characters who are determined and believable, will find The Fly Strip a powerful selection, especially recommended for adults of all ages who want a more socially revealing contrast to the classic Catcher in the Rye.”