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Every detail picked out so clearly that it stings, not a wasted word, Thomas M. Atkinson takes us into a life lit by flashes, a jarring spasmodic journey. Here's a brilliant book, a sure voice, that will leave you bruised. If you read for fun, pass this one by. If you want to travel with a master of prose, unsparing in the light he casts, don't miss this book.
It's a chronicle of a life of madness, a beautiful spiral of weirdness people by the dangerous, the drunk and the self-destructive. It's also one of the best American novels to come down the pike in a long, long time. Atkinson finds the voice of the book immediately, and the note never wavers. Those who know him as a shorty story writer and a playwright won't be disappointed by this; the writing is every bit as authoritative as in his other work, and like those other pieces, travels far out to the edge.
This is one of those times where there's no choice but to say, 'Don't miss this book.' Reading it will be the best favor you do yourself this year.