Monday, July 27, 2015

Delicious Foods

Delicious Foods
James Hannaham

Published 2015

First Sentence
"After escaping from the farm, Eddie drove through the night."

Publisher's Description:

Darlene, a young widow and mother devastated by the death of her husband, turns to drugs to erase the trauma. In this fog of grief, she is lured with the promise of a great job to a mysterious farm run by a shady company, with disastrous consequences for both her and her eleven-year-old son, Eddie--left behind in a panic-stricken search for her.

Delicious Foods tells the gripping story of three unforgettable characters: a mother, her son, and the drug that threatens to destroy them. In Darlene's haunted struggle to reunite with Eddie, and in the efforts of both to triumph over those who would enslave them, Hannaham's daring and shape-shifting prose not only infuses their desperate circumstances with grace and humor, but also wrestles with timeless questions of love and freedom.

Dear Reader,

I was not expecting this book to be what it is. I don't know why, but I had a vision in my head of how this novel was before even cracking the spine. I actually audiobook'd this... so all spines are still intact. I have to say though, you must audiobook this one.... if only because the Author, James Hannaham, does a fantastic impression of crack cocaine. Yep, you heard right. Crack cocaine is a main character, and a very strong one indeed. I was so enamoured by this excellent writing trick, I had friends and family listen to the first crack chapter. Every time I listened, I picked up something I missed. I would come to work feeling "energized" and "pumped up"... but not because I was high on drugs but from how AMAZING James Hannaham writes and reads that character, it makes you feel the buzz. No, it won't get you high... but I dare you to listen to that chapter and NOT be woken up.

I'm hard pressed to call this satire, even though I feel hints of it and have heard others call it that. I feel that the darkness looming over everyone is way too heavy to be satirical. Now, crack cocaine... that had humor. Eddie and his mother, that story is just downright sad.... a tragedy. I get a sharp pang thinking about them, I didn't cry but thinking back, it gets me a little emotional. Eddie, that poor boy who lost his father (fire) and then his mother (to drugs and delicious food) and had to find his own way to her. His story is heartwarming, sad and deeply tragic, warranting a book into itself. Eddie's mother, Darlene, holds a tragic story too. Her husband dies in a fire, she can't keep up with bills, she turns to drugs to self medicate and ends up (for lack of a better word) kidnapped by a corrupt company to slave drive them to "earn" their freedom. All this happens early on and we get set up for the "real" story. Think things can't get more tragic than that? Try again.

If you plan on reading this, I HIGHLY suggest audiobook format (the Author narrates his book perfectly). I would also plan on listening only during "light" days, this book can pull the darkness in a little and I could feel the storm clouds rumbling... don't make this mistake... it'll bring you down even more. But oh boy, is this book something... so much to discuss here, I could see this being a great contender for the TOB (Tournament of Books) next year (crosses fingers).

Happy Reading,

Delicious Foods

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