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At Dawn Paperback – October 16, 2012
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The Amazon Book Review
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"Hughes combines coming-of-age tale, portrait of the artist as a young man, and father-son saga in a well-crafted novel." Publishers Weekly
From the Back Cover
"At Dawn is the brave, rare sort of novel that finds extraordinary meaning in ordinary lives. The characters are beautifully complex, honorable and compassionate, and yet, like so many of us, deeply flawed and emotionally scarred. The writing is clean and sharp and vivid, and in reading Jobie Hughes I'm reminded of the tremendous power of simple honesty in storytelling. This is a fine book by a fine writer."
--James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River
"Hughes' debut novel, At Dawn, follows a former All-American wrestler, and is there any better metaphor for contemporary American life? We're all wrestling, tussling with the economy, no jobs, doing the best we can. Hughes doesn't flinch from the tough existential questions. He embraces them."
--Joshua Mohr, author of Damascus
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A great book by Jobie Hughes. I look forward to his future works and to see how he develops as a writer. Highly recommended.
Stratton leaves New York life and heads to Chicago with nothing but a duffle bag and $300 in his pocket. He soon learns that achieving the American dream isn't going to be easy. Stratton is desperate for anything, anything that will help him forget his troubled past, but he soon discovers that he has to reconcile the horrible things that happened in his youth or he'll lose everything he's tried so hard to achieve.
There are some pretty good characters in the book and I particularly enjoyed getting to learn about Gene, a former Vietnam vet and Stratton's landlord. He seems a perfect elderly gentleman who I would love to have a drink with.
Overall, this book isn't quite a beach read but it is good nonetheless. Just don't expect to be in a chipper mood at the end. It's a gritty look at life, but it's real and relatable.
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