Book Reviews: Late Summer Debuts
Today, we are pleased to bring you reviews of two late summer debuts. First up: Adam O’Fallon Price’s The Grand Tour. This book chronicles the friendship between an established and an emerging writer as they embark on a road trip together. Pretty irresistible, right? Reviewer Brett Beach says: “The best comedic writing is used to speak to the parts of life that may be hardest to face. In The Grand Tour . . . Adam O’Fallon Price both skewers the pessimistic, narcissistic tendencies we all harbor, and suggests that no amount of mistakes or failures can truly inure a person to change.”
Second, we review One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist, the debut collection from Masters Review author Dustin M. Hoffman, and winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Reviewer Augusto Corvalan writes: “With One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist Hoffman has fashioned a collection that does not stand on the strength of its individual stories so much as the cohesive world it creates and the lives it inhabits with such heartfelt honesty and understanding.”
The Grand Tour by Adam O’Fallon Price
Richard Lazar, the protagonist of Adam O’Fallon Price’s debut novel The Grand Tour, is a washed-up, mid-list writer—divorced, overweight, often drunk, with most of his books out of print, and barely in contact with his grown daughter. But unexpected success arrives with the publication of his sixth book, a memoir about his service (and eventual desertion) during the Vietnam War. To capitalize on the book’s momentum, Lazar’s publishing house sends him on a book tour. The disastrous consequences of the book tour are chronicled with humorous precision and deep feeling by Price, transforming The Grand Tour from a comedic road trip novel into a meditation on the relationship between creation, desperation, and hope.
One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist by Dustin M. Hoffman
Knife pushers, diggers, painters, can pickers, snake mimes, fire chasers, thieves and ice cream men populate the stories in Dustin M. Hoffman’s One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist, his debut collection from University of Nebraska Press. The book was named the winner of the 2015 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. The stories here feature men (and they are largely men) who live by their hands, who work in subdivisions, who build cookie-cutter houses. They are defined by their work, by toil and back-break. They live hardscrabble lives and are either aiming higher or sinking slowly down.