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 will be published by Almendro Arts in February 2018.
“A slender, fast-paced, fever-dreamed excursion . . . undeniably addictive.”
“Like a bad trip–filthy in all sorts of ways, yet weirdly endearing.”
“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.”
“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.”
“A classic story destined to find its home in reading groups across the nation.”
“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.”
“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, Netgalley Reviewer
“Disturbingly deep, hypnotizing. I couldn’t stop reading it even if I wanted.”
-Atiqah M, Netgalley Reviewer
“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