If you’re like me, you are always on the lookout for a novel that speaks to the homicidal teenage girl on acid inside of you. Well, today you are in luck, unless you’ve already read this 1999 masterpiece by artist/writer/teacher/goddess Lynda Barry.
Best known for her comic strip Ernie Pook’s Comeek, which ran in many weekly alternative papers in the 1980s and '90s, Barry creates characters that are simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. In Cruddy, 16-year-old narrator Roberta Rohbeson lives in poverty, “on a cruddy street, on the side of a cruddy hill in the cruddiest part of a crudded-out town in a cruddy state, country, world, solar system, universe.” As the story begins, Roberta has been grounded for a year due to getting caught “tripping on drugs very badly.” In one long journal entry/suicide note, Roberta composes the “famous book” she plans to leave behind: the recounting of a road trip with her violent, alcoholic father, which leaves a trail of death and destruction and concludes with Roberta stranded on a desert highway, her trusty knife Little Debbie as her only companion.
Although Barry departed from her usual cartoon format, the ominous black and white drawings she includes throughout beautifully enhance this dark tale. Nice touches are the illustrated endsheets, which are maps detailing both Roberta’s cruddy hometown and the route of her and her father’s horrifying crime spree, er, family vacation.
Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel by Lynda Barry
Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.
Back in 2016, Naomi Kritzer won the Hugo award for her brilliant, endearing story Cat Pictures Please, in which an AI with an insatiable craving for cat pictures explains its view on the world and the way that it makes humans' lives better; now Kritzer has adapted the story into her new novel, the equally […]
With The Watchmen now on teevee, I hope that many more people will dive into the magickal brilliance of Alan Moore who co-created the original comic in 1987 along with other seminal works like V for Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke. Over at the Daily Grail, Greg points us to a fantastic web video […]
Mitch Wagner writes, "Talented and prolific science fiction writer and editor Mike Resnick, who has written extensively over the course of a long career about colonialism and its legacies, with a particular focus and love for Africa, has had a near-death experience and started a GoFundMe to pay off his medical expenses. I'm a huge […]
For all that tech that gets squeezed into them, the best wireless earbuds are ones we barely have to think about. That’s the whole point, right? We get wireless because we just want to hit play and have a hands-free, cordless soundtrack for the rest of the commute. If that’s your philosophy, definitely give these […]
Need a boost on that resume? Get a valuable tech education on your own time with these eBook bundles. They contain guides from Packt Publishing that cover everything from game development to machine learning. The Complete Mobile App Developer eBook Bundle It’s a veritable gold rush in the App Store these days. Get in on […]
Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]