Still Can't See Nothin' Comin'

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9780060198626: Still Can't See Nothin' Comin'

We walked along some railroad tracks that gave us a straight shot from Sunshine to Walgreen's. There's something about walking on the tracks that's very different from a regular old sidewalk. We never really thought about it, but whenever we could, we always chose the tracks over walking along the side of some road -- And that was a great, almost beautiful thing, on our way to a shoplifting spree with cold Cokes in our hands and cigarettes in our months that all our parents would have killed us for, blue sky and train tracks as far as we could see.

Daniel Grey Marshall's bracing literary debut traces a journey from innocence to experience, from childhood through the crushing rebirth of adolescence into an early yet hard-won adulthood. At its center is Jim, a Midwestern teen who finds a home with friends just as his family is disappointing him; who finds distraction and solace and escape in a maelstrom of cheap drugs and alcohol; who discovers beauty through the eyes of a girl named Leslie, his extraordinary friend and lover. A succession of desperate events from suicide to armed robbery -- conspires to destroy the world Jim has carved out with his friends; his own loss of control is precipitous, heartrending, and inevitable. Yet throughout the novel -- and even to its searing final scenes -- Jim's intensely human voice lends the story a bright and luminous soul.

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About the Author:

Daniel Grey Marshall, age 23, grew up in Madison, Wisconsin. He began working on Still Can't See Nothin' Comin' at the age of 15. Marshall lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he is at work on a second novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

Fifteen-year-old Jim Drake thinks hyperbolically, rather than logically: a ceiling isn't just high, it is "like a mile off the floor"; a car doesn't just speed up, it goes "about a million miles per hour." Marshall was 15 years old himself when he began writing this brutal coming-of-age novel, set in the early 1990s in Madison, Wis. Now 23, he turns out a powerful if solipsistic tale of dysfunction. Jim and his older sister, Mandy, put up a united front against their father's drunken abuse and their mother's denial; younger brother Billy is the only child left unscathed. Jim would like to protect his sister, but depresses her by starting down the path of violence and alcohol himself. The central cataclysm in both Jim's life and the Drake household comes when Mandy is hit by a train. In the aftermath of her death, Jim's father begins to torture him nightly. Desperate, Jim escapes the household, camping out with his friends, Philly and Jeremy. The latter, who's Mandy's former boyfriend, has grown twisted inside since Mandy's death; Jim's binge drinking, meanwhile, drives away his own girlfriend, Leslie. With his friends, Jim slides from the mild delinquency of shoplifting to more serious crimes, like robbing a drug dealer, then a store. The emotional climax of the story is reached when Jim discovers Mandy's diary, which reveals the extent of their father's sexual abuse of his daughter. Like Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries, Miller's first novel speaks with the futile but feverish lyricism of adolescence, its scenes set against a backdrop of suburban repression. Northeast regional author appearances.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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