Review from Pop Syndicate:
Stuck somewhere between J.D. Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, author David S. Grant delves into the life of a modern misanthrope whose drug usage would make Hunter S. Thompson envious. Grant laid-back style makes the misadventures of Jeremy and his drug addled buddies an easy pill to swallow.
Grant opens Bleach with a countdown to midnight New Year’s Eve 2004. As the clock counts down, Jeremy is holding a bleeding girl in his arms that very well could be dying. The closer it gets to midnight, the more venomous Jeremy becomes to the reader before he stops the story and takes us back in time a few days before the fateful night.
Since the story is told from a very unreliable narrator, the threads jump from place to place as Jeremy loosely retells his story. Suffering from a brain tumor and horrible pain, he spends his days drunk and strung out to dull his mind and his upcoming surgery. The more we find out about Jeremy and his past, the more you’ll either like or hate him. He’s not a nice guy and through most of the story he’s either using someone or looking to use someone. When he starts his narrative with “This story probably isn’t for you,” he means it.
Grant intercuts Jeremy’s forward story with flashes back from previous New Year’s Eve parties and a system for how bad your hangover is based on how drunk you were the night before. Grant’s story isn’t anything new or different. He wears his influences on his sleeve and it’s easy to pick out his influences. What works in his favor is his decision to not tell a linear story but to jump around in the story. It helps break up what is essentially a series of moments involving meaningless sex, exploiting people, drinking, doing copious amounts of drugs and blackouts.
At the end of Bleach, flip the book and start Blackout, which picks up two years after the events in Bleach. Jeremy has recovered from his brain surgery and is attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas. Based on the events in the first story, it’s exactly what you would expect; sex, drugs and murder.
After blacking out on the way back from Vegas to L.A., Jeremy and his cohorts are awoken when the police raid their friend’s house and arrest them for the murder of a Senator’s underage daughter that one of them may or may not have had sex with. It’s another uncomfortable ride on the dark side of life with Jeremy filtering the events in his uneven manner.
Beach/Blackout won’t be for everyone. It’s dark, disturbing and usually uncomfortable. David S. Grant is an author to watch. He could easily become the next Chuck Palahniuk with his fragmented style and stream of consciousness writing. If you enjoy these types of stories, Bleach/Blackout will be a very enjoyable read. Everyone else, heed the opening line of the book. "
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David S. Grant is the author of BLOOD: The New Red. Follow David on Twitter: .david_s_grant