Jonathan LaPoma

Author / Screenwriter / Songwriter

The Summer of Crud

The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.

Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for this inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.

A deeply disturbing and psychological coming-of-age novel, The Summer of Crud explores the complexities of friendships, masculinity, sex, mental illness, and addiction, and shows how the quest to unlock one’s creativity can both inspire and destroy a person.

*The Summer of Crud is the second book in a loosely-linked series with Hammond, Understanding the Alacrán, Developing Minds: An American Ghost Story, and The Soul City Salvation as books one and three-five. Each novel can be read independently of the others.

Download the First Two Chapters of THE SUMMER OF CRUD


Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist, 2018

Barnes & Noble Press Presents list selection, February/March 2018 (“B&N Press editors have handpicked the best books from emerging authors and new voices”)

-Amazon Hot New Release (UK)

“A slender, fast-paced, fever-dreamed excursion . . . undeniably addictive.”

Kirkus Reviews, Recommended Review

“Like a bad trip–€”filthy in all sorts of ways, yet weirdly endearing.”

-Yuliya Geikhman, US Review of Books

“A pot-smoking, paradigm-changing journey that brings readers along for a wild ride, offering a high-octane blend of psychological revelations and cultural observation . . . especially recommended for readers who appreciate coming-of-age stories beyond the usual teenage angst focus.”

-Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Not a light read . . . LaPoma paints a gritty picture of struggling young adults, living moment to moment, overwhelmed by adulthood. Dan’s demons are present on every page and readers that suffer from anxiety or depression are likely to connect with his struggle for belonging and self-acceptance . . . Dan’s inner voice speaks loudly to the difficulty many face on life’s winding road.”

Red City Review

“A classic story destined to find its home in reading groups across the nation.”

-Lisa McCombs, Readers’ Favorite, 5 Stars

“I couldn’t help but recall my first impressions of Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine . . . We see past the golden sunlight to the street kids with their broken dreams, to the panhandling in the Haight and the ghost of Kurt Cobain haunting the streets of Seattle . . . Danny’s odyssey, his metaphorical Summer of Love, is both marred and enhanced by the reality of his physical condition and that of the world. At once unworldly and preternaturally wise, he sees past the trappings into a reality that is not entirely unexpected considering his life up to that point . . . the reader can’t help but hope he will survive all he’s experiencing . . . most highly recommended.”

-Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite, 5 Stars

“Though The Summer of Crud is short, MAN is it deep! This narrative is chock full of harsh observances of human nature and insecurity . . . One of those books that is so full of incredible quotes that rather than sharing a few I might as well just give anyone a copy of the book and say “Here, read this; I really love it . . . like The Perks of Being a Wallflower’s grungy older brother.”

-Audrey L, Netgalley Reviewer

“Definitely weird, but enjoyably so . . . A daring piece of work.”

-Marjorie H, Books & Tea Cups

“Disturbingly deep, hypnotizing. I couldn’t stop reading it even if I wanted.”

-Atiqah M, Bookmarks & Blue Light

“A thoughtful, well-written book, short, sweet and straight to the point . . . Not for the faint hearted and not for those who like block buster style commercial writing. Yet it is easy to read, the extensive dialogue between Danny and Ian, their complex relationship kept me wanting to know more. I finished the book rather quickly. The ending was good – simple, real and convincing.”

-Cyan Night, Goodreads Reviewer

“Takes adventure and art to a whole other level . . . packed with life, lessons and realism. He gets into some deep shit and it will hit you . . . Even though it’s from a man’s pov, as a woman I completely understand and am sympathetic from a different aspect . . . it really reached a part of my soul that’s hard to get to . . . You have to read this . . . There will be at least one chapter in here that will make you think . . . why is this so me?”

-Ash the Bookworm

“Twisted enough to be intriguing, but not so much that it’s a turnoff . . . A deep, unique, extremely well-presented narrative of self-awareness while declining into mental illness.”

Book Bangs


“I don’t recommend this book for the faint of heart. This book is raw and written bluntly. Nothing in this book has its edges sanded down or rounded off. The topics of mental health, addiction, abuse and physical pain are not made over into something less terrible than they are . . . If you are into blunt material that doesn’t always receive the storybook happy ending then this book is probably for you.”

-Four Moon Reviews