Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel

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Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel

Lynda Barry

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Format: Paperback

On a September night in 1971, a few days after getting busted for dropping acid, a sixteen-year-old curls up in the corner of her ratty bedroom and begins to write.“Now the truth can finally be revealed about the mysterious day long ago when the authorities found a child, calmly walking in the boiling desert, covered with blood.”The girl is Roberta Rohbeson, and her rant against a world bounded by “the cruddy top bedroom of a cruddy rental house on a very cruddy mud road” soon becomes a detailed account of another story, one that she has kept silent since she was eleven.Darkly funny and resonant with humanity, “Cruddy, ” masterfully intertwines Roberta's stories — part “Easy Rider” and part bipolar “Wizard of Oz.” These stories, the backbone of Roberta's short life, include a one-way trip across America fueled by revenge and greed and a vivid cast of characters, starring Roberta's dangerous father, the owners of the Knocking Hammer Bar-cum-slaughterhouse, and runaway adolescents. With a teenager's eye for freakish detail and a nervous ability to make the most horrible scenes seem hilarious, “Cruddy” is a stunning achievement.

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