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Cruddy
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About the Author

Lynda Barry is the creator of the nationally syndicated Ernie Pook's Comeek comic strip and the author of the novel and play The Good Times Are Killing Me. Once a commentator for National Public Radio, she lives in Evanston, Illinois.

Reviews

Barry, whose recent graphic novel, The Freddie Stories, took as its subject the dysfunctional family from her newspaper cartoon strip, now takes us into the head of an indomitable 16-year-old. Roberta Rohbeson lives with her mother and half-sister, Julie, in a crumbling neighborhood overlooking a garbage-filled ravine. Roberta's energetic voice carries us along two story-lines. In one, Roberta and a classmate, Vicky, cut school and meet up with a series of low-life young men. Simultaneously, Roberta provides us with a running account of a cross-country crime spree with her father when she was 11. This trip involves three suitcases full of money, lots of alcohol, gore, putrefaction, and some of the most desolate, godforsaken locales in modern fiction. It also contains more violence than this reader can usually tolerate, yet Roberta's wacky, irrepressible outlook makes her story fresh, compelling, and sometimes hilarious. Does Roberta survive? All I can say is, she gets my vote as one of the all-time great unreliable narrators. Recommended for most fiction collections.ÄReba Leiding, James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Alanna Nash The New York Times A work of terrible beauty.
Entertainment Weekly One of the top ten best books of the year.
Andrew Horton The Wall Street Journal Ms. Barry has an ear for the casual cruelties of teenage conversation, for the way in which the most banal exchange can be fraught with hidden meanings and undercurrents of emotion. A dark little gem.
The New Yorker Cruddy's horror-bright narrative and over-the-top mayhem comedy nearly blind you to its plain, heartbreaking realism....An unforgettable, seamlessly imagined voice.
Booklist A work of daredevil literary wizardry.

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