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Please Don't Shoot Anyone Tonight Paperback – August 20, 2010
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There are two cover blurbs -- both from authors I love. Willy Vlautin, author and frontman for the rock band Richman Fontaine, called PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ANYONE TONIGHT "a great portrayal of small town kids circling the edge of darkness." Donald Ray Pollack, bestselling author of KNOCKEMSTIFF, said "PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ANYONE TONIGHT is not only one of the sharpest and funniest novels I've ever read, it's also one of the saddest and truest about teenage life in a small town."
Newman, a native of Irwin, Pennsylvania -- a tiny town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh -- knows a lot about small-town suburban life and draws from it in PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ANYONE TONIGHT. Set in 1987, the novel's main characters, Danny Charles and Matt Williams, are both 17. Danny and Matt spend their nights driving the backroads of Western Pennsylvania, stoned and drunk, looking for old-man bars that welcome their business. If they're not getting served, they're looking to get laid with older women or listening to hair metal, especially the slow songs.
When Matt's girlfriend Susan decides she's pregnant, everything explodes. A plan to rob the paint store where Danny works part-time becomes the only way to raise the money Susan needs. But Danny's not a good thief, Matt's unraveling, and Susan is desperate and capable of more than they know.
Somewhere between a James Cain novel and a Larry Clark photo, this book is perfect for fans of writers like Bukowski and Greg Bottoms, Kerouac and Gerald Locklin.
PLEASE DON'T SHOOT ANYONE TONIGHT doesn't flinch. Newman details a world where parents barely exist, lonely adults can't always recognize teenagers, and the only way to save yourself is by making everything worse.