December 8, 2014

Book Review: "Two Small Birds" by Dave Newman

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Two Small Birds, by Dave Newman

Two Small Birds
By Dave Newman
Writers Tribe Books
Reviewed by Jason Pettus

Dave Newman's Two Small Birds is the best kind of social-realist novel there is, a genre that can be fraught with problems if not handled with a delicate touch; not the dour, preachy kind of social realism from do-gooder academic liberals that seems to dominate this type of storytelling, but more the "here's to the losers" celebration of lumpens made so famous by Nelson Algren, which tends to only get pulled off when the author in question is a fellow prole like Newman is. (The book's plot mainly concerns itself with our hero's nightmarish stint as a long-distance trucker, and the author mentions in his bio that he himself used to be a long-distance trucker, so I'm just assuming here that many of these anecdotes are based on true stories.) Now, that said, be warned that this novel also occasionally dips into overly sentimental territory itself, nearly impossible to not do at least a little when trying to write sympathetically about addicts and homeless people; but in general this is a wonderfully hard-edged look at those members of society destined to squander nearly every opportunity ever presented to them, and a blackly joyous look at why these people still matter to society at large. It comes generally recommended to CCLaP's overall audience, but especially so to fans of Bukowski and other such writers. Here's to all my friends!

Out of 10: 8.8

Read even more about Two Small Birds: Official site | Amazon | Goodreads | LibraryThing | Shelfari

Filed by Jason Pettus at 12:57 PM, December 8, 2014. Filed under: Literature | Literature:Fiction | Reviews |