Author: Brian Allen Carr
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Soho Press
Published: September 17, 2019
Book Description: During a week-long suspension from school, a teenage transplant to impoverished rural Indiana searches for a job, the whereabouts of his vanished drug-addicted guardian, and meaning in the America of the Trump years.
Seventeen-year-old Riggle is living in rural Indiana with his uncle and uncle’s girlfriend after the death of his parents. Now his uncle is missing, probably on a drug binge. It’s Monday, and $800 in rent is due Friday. Riggle, who’s been suspended from school, has to either find his uncle or get the money together himself. His mission exposes him to a motley group of Opioid locals—encounters by turns perplexing, harrowing, and heartening.
With empathy and insight, Carr explores what it’s like to be a high school kid in the age of Trump—a time of economic inequality, addiction, Confederate flags, and mass shootings. Through the voice of its unforgettable protagonist—charismatic, confused, searching, by turns cynical and naïve, wise and impulsive—Opioid, Indiana pierces to the heart of our moment.
Rating: 3 stars
Review: Opioid, Indiana is the story of Riggle an orphaned teenager who lives with his uncle in an unnamed city in Indiana. The story takes place in the span of one week, when Riggle gets suspended from school for a week for something he did not do. But hey, he is a teenager so he really does not care about missing school.
He spends the week having his own adventures, searching for his drug addicted uncle, finding a job, stealing a bike and having lots of text conversations with his friend Bennet.
This is a very introspective book and of course extremely relevant. At times I felt this book was too nuanced for my taste. The writing is extremely good, but some of it went over my head. I do believe this is an important story that many people will relate to, if you can just slug through some of the tougher sections. Also want to note this is a pretty short book at about 200 Pages, so this will not take to much of your time.
Thank you NetGalley and Soho Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
2 replies on “Opioid, Indiana – Book Review”
Sounds like a serious read but I do love the evocative bookcover 🙂
While the story has an extremely serious undertone, this does have an air of adventure and some lightness. It is not completely a downer.
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