Junk City by Jon Boilard is an engaging collection of short stories and free-flowing poems that forms a compelling narrative around a grouping of characters and their respective addictions. Many of the sections come at the reader with a rush, while others feel like a smooth transition from one era to the other, signs of the different perspectives and journeys of the aforementioned characters. At some moments it feels like a literary album or word-based art gallery. There is a great aspect of visual storytelling here that paints lavish and haunting images.
The concept of literacy collections can mean many things and relatively speaking it doesn’t usually refer to the kind of ambitious undertaking that Boilard sets out to achieve in this entertaining book. Jon Boilard is a master at details and the prose of certain passages is just outstanding and provocatively crafted. The collection of characters can rival any mainstream miniseries and the narrative effortlessly cruises along each time period.
The best moments are when two characters connect and share in their personal despair as one memorable scene achieves during a basketball-linked bar scene between a fan and a former player. Or when you see certain addicts attempt to earn back the trust of society and their families following a period of self-destruction. The recovering addict who has to ride a bike around town remains vivid in this reviewer’s mind.
There is never a feeling that the author is being self-indulgent or overly melodramatic. Rather it is a detailed canvas about the still little understood and mostly unsympathetic nature the public has about addiction. Each of the respective addictions weighs deeply on the shoulders of each written character, and the vicious hold each addiction has on them reveals tragic imprints of their lives.
Much like the film The Lost Weekend, many of the characters are defined by their addictive pasts or presents. They only find comfort in the brief moments of interaction with their addictive perils and devote their lives seeking the next relief. Junk Cityis a challenging and intriguing read.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||250 pages|
|Publisher||University of West Alabama|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Poetry & Short Stories|