i would like to see the book club read willy vlautin (when we've exhausted our current schedule) he's really a great writer, and i think he would fit in here. i dont have any super articulated fancy shit to say, just that he wrote one of the best books of 2010.
on second thought, maybe i will say something more elaborate. my review from powells:
Vlautin's third novel, Lean on Pete is what Carver might have been without the aide of alcohol, cigarettes, spousal abuse, and racism. The novel follows the tragic life of Charlie, a kid who sees his father killed by a girlfriend's jealous boyfriend. Orphaned and broke, this kid takes a job working for a scum-of-the-Earth type, named Del, who races at Portland Meadows. That's where the story takes off.
Vlautin has a voice that is simple, and catchy, and perhaps because it's all from the point of view of fifteen year old Charlie, the language flows through the events in a way a child could understand, but in layers only an adult can fully appreciate. The story is both beautiful and sometimes heart-breaking, and the people Charlie runs into are as real, and as unreal as everything else in the book. None of the characters can be discarded, discounted, or taken too lightly. This is by far the best book I read from 2010.
“...There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one's head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people's pain. You ought to have some apprehension that the man you see before you was once even younger than you are now and arrived at his present wretchedness by imperceptible degrees.”