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.
“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.”
-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