Review: Joe

Joe by Larry Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wade Jones is one of the most disgusting characters ever created. In fact, nobody in this book was particularly likable.

This book is basically about a bunch of broken people and the amount of booze they can drink. I’d bet not a page was turned that didn’t have somebody drinking. When that’s your life, bad things are sure to happen. Larry Brown doesn’t let the reader down in that expectation.

The ending was rather predictable, but despite guessing what was coming there was no preparing for the depravity of Gary’s alcoholic father. Despite that, the actual final events were to vague. What happened to Joe after … Well, I don’t want to spoil it. I suspect I know, based on the epilogue, but some definite information would have been nice. Is he dead? In prison again? Did he up and move somewhere else?

I literally just finished this book. I’m not sure what to think of it. While I was in it, I wanted to stay with it, but as I said, nobody was particularly likable. I’d get to where I almost liked Joe, then he took his dog to the whorehouse to make it kill the girls’ dog. I’d start liking Gary and then he’d pick up the habit of drinking all the time despite seeing what the alcohol was doing to his father and Joe. Gary’s mom was a doormat who should have killed Wade a long, long time ago, and his sister’s … I suppose they were the only good people, though they were the most damaged.

The book is short, the writing is good. I’d recommend it, but it isn’t a feel-good read.

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