Cherry by Nico Walker – Weekend tip

I read Cherry in one go when it came out in August. It’s rare that I get to actually sit down with a paperback as you might have found out I am more into the audiobook format as it allows me to go through much more books.

Cherry is a great read. A strong book by an author who isn’t scared about being tough on the characters. It will make you ache and laugh at the same time. If you are looking for a comfortable read with a cup of tea maybe Cherry A Novel isn’t for you. This book will make uncomfortable going through its main themes like  war,  heroin addiction and all the crime that goes along with those things.

And what cover! Really dig this book-cover. It’s designed by Janet Hansen. This cover isn’t the only good one just check her website!

About Cherry 

Cleveland, 2003. A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York, and he flunks out of school and joins the Army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an Army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. His fellow soldiers smoke; they huff computer duster; they take painkillers; they watch porn. And many of them die. He and Emily try to make their long-distance marriage work, but when he returns from Iraq, his PTSD is profound, and the drugs on the street have changed. The opioid crisis is beginning to swallow up the Midwest. Soon he is hooked on heroin, and so is Emily. They attempt a normal life, but with their money drying up, he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be really good at – robbing banks.

Hammered out on a typewriter, Cherry marks the arrival of a raw, bleakly hilarious, and surprisingly poignant voice straight from the dark heart of America.

Narrated by the great Jeremy Bobb (also narrated maybe the best Spy bestseller this year Red Sparrow)

Available on audiobook now on Amazon.

Future True Crime Classic? The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

Most people think of Nabokov when they hear the word Lolita but Sarah Weinman’s brand new book The Real Lolita is a very different take on the case.

Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner’s full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records, and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.

This book is a must read for me. First of all this is case that first and foremost shocked the world so as true crime subject it’s facinating. Adding Nabokov’s classic novel Lolita into the mix and we have a very interesting novel on our hands. I am only an hour into the book and it’s hard to put down (or hard to take your headphones off). The Real Lolita is very interesting both from a true crime and literary perspective. Sarah Weinman’s The Real Lolita is narrated by Cassandra Campbell who does a great job with it.

Now go and get it! Available on audible here.

Audiobook tip for September #1

I always have a reading list ready of books I haven’t gotten around to listen to yet. Washington Black by Esi Edugyan is one of the audiobooks sitting top of my pile heading into September and maybe it should be on your reading list too!

Many books about about slavery in America has been put out lately and many of them have been amazing reads. It’s important to understand the history that has shaped American to what is today and we know Esi Edugyan has a strong pen from her best seller Half-Blood Blues. Already long-listed for the Man Booker price 2018.  This year could be a big year for the writer.

Washington Black is about a boy who rises from the ashes of slavery to become a free man of the world.  “Wash”, the 11-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is terrified to be chosen by his master’s brother as his manservant. To his surprise, the eccentric Christopher Wilde turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. But of course it doesn’t end just there.

Narrated by Dion Graham (Known from his stellar performance in The Wire (HBO) and also in The Force by Don Winslow, Private Paris by James Patterson etc)

Now available on Audiobook here.

 

PURITY by Jonathan Franzen

This weeks audiobook recommendation is Purity by Jonathan Franzen. This book is probably one of my favourite Jonathan Franzen books. It’s not a short book and its packed with Franzen’s signature emotional conflicts and criticism of modern society.

In “Purity” we follow graduate student “Pip” who’s full name is actually Purity. She has a college debt totalling 130.000$ and is having problems figuring out the basics of life like finding a house and a satisfactory career.  As we follow Pip we start to understand the stems of her many issues. Her mother, a reclusive Santa Cruz Mountains resident who works as a checkout in a market. Pip’s mother has kept her dad’s indentity secret for her since her childhood. Pip Basically doesn’t know where she comes from.

As in many of Jonathan Franzens books he lets his main character drift in and out of the story line only to bring them together later on. “Pip” gets involved with a wikileaks organization, an eastern german “whistleblower” type a la Julian Assange.

“Purity” is a complicated book about growing up in a world dominated by the Internet and all it’s flaws in terms of privacy and distractions. It’s also a book about loneliness, love and desperate measures to maintain a status quo in relationships. It’s also Jonathan Franzen’s most ambitious book in my opinion and at times it might not be an easy read. For me, this book is perfect for listeners wondering how the internet is affecting our human relationships and the times we live in.

Here Jonathan Franzen speaks to BBC about his novel.

Short facts about Purity

Listening time: 25 hours
Published: 2015
For Fans of: American history, family life dramas, the internet and social realism.
Available on: www.audiobooks.com

Get the Purity audiobook for free by signing up for a free trial with audiobook.com here.