She's not exaggerating. It's 1971, and 16-year-old Roberta Rohbeson lives in what looks very much like hell. It's five years after the Lucky Chief Motel Massacre, after which Roberta was found wandering the desert, covered with blood and clutching her dog, Cookie, who suffers from "incurable skin problems." Even now, Roberta still won't talk about what happened. She lives with her mother and sister on the aforementioned cruddy street, hides in the weeds during her lunch period, and eventually befriends some suicidal misfits like herself. The novel intercuts their chemically enhanced adventures with scenes from a gore-filled road trip taken five years before. Hint No. 1: Roberta's father used to run a slaughterhouse. Hint No. 2: The maps inside the front covers have keys that read "Dead People We Left Behind" and "Places There Were Blood."
Barry came to fame as a cartoonist, and though the humor in her strip Ernie Pook's Comeek is dark, nothing in it could prepare her fans for the sheer horror of Cruddy. The novel is funny, sort of, as long as you think naming a knife Little Debbie is funny, or lines like "A man who has been dead for a week in a hot trailer looks more like a man than you would first expect." What's more, it's compulsively, almost harrowingly, readable, written with the kind of velocity that makes you keep turning pages even when you don't want to. Despite the hallucinogenic quality of the violence around her, Roberta is never anything less than real, and her story will strike chords in anyone whose childhood was marked by ugliness and fear. Cruddy may be a bad acid trip, but if you can stomach the ride, it's a very good book. --Mary Park --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Why isn't Lynda Barry as critically acclaimed as Donna Tartt or John Rechy?Published 1 month ago by Jill J.
Wow! This book was crazy good. I'm really into deep dark books and this book I can say is defiantly top 5 on my list. I recommend this book to whom ever! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ximena
This was an incredible novel, though illustrated more in the Hugo Cabret sense than an actual graphic novel. I don't know why I feel I have to clarify that - the subtitle maybe? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Katherine Simmons
I don't get it. How did this book I've never heard of a week ago become my favorite book? It's one of those books that, as a writer, makes you stop everything you're doing and take... Read morePublished 9 months ago by S. Conley
I read this when it came out years ago, and have bought five copies since. No one I ever meet has read it, so my close friends end up getting a copy from me to take with them. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Paul Panamarenko
this book is so good I will smack you in the freaked up face. every word is perfect, and I hope to God and little Debbie that I write something half this terrific. Read morePublished 12 months ago by christopher
Lynda writes it like no one else. I agree with the previous review who puts this horror story up there with "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Lord of the Flies". Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ann M.
Looks good on the Kindle. Superb writing style - can't be beat. Barry takes you right into the mind of the narrator, and the tale is told in parallel timelines (usually this is... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Noah Fence