Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cross Country - MK Reed

Another longer work that I picked up at this year's SPX is the book Cross Country by MK Reed. I was excited to pick it up as I really enjoyed the two smaller works of hers that I picked up last year. For a tiny blurb on 'I will feast on your whore heart' and 'Myrtle Willoughby' go here.

Cross Country is a story about a guy named Ben who has taken a job as the assistant for an heir to a big chain store as he goes on a road trip visiting various stores as they celebrate milestones or have events, etc. Greg, Ben's boss, is a spoiled self centered frat boy asshole, and Ben is immediately sick of him, but he does his job and puts up with it.

Ben is a decent guy, but he has not gotten over the girl who left him in college, and is subjected to frequent and sometimes disturbing dreams about her still. Ben keeps in touch with his best friend Tara, via phonecalls and postcards, and ends up getting back in touch with his ex, and staying with her for a day. Greg ends up facing some consequences for his actions, and everything ends on a sort of promise of things getting at least somewhat better for Ben.

It's a great story with excellent and enjoyable dialog. It's smart and comes across as very genuine. The dream sequences are interesting and well done, and give us additional insight. Reed's art is simple, but well done and consistent. The story is dialog heavy, but in the way that a car trip and a reunion with an ex would be. It doesn't feel unrealistically padded or anything. The characters are distinct and there is a good bit of humor as well.

In a very basic and complimentary way, this book reminds me of the movie Sideways. There are a lot of basic similarities. Not even close to exactly the same, just the basic feel and some of the themes with the characters.

I highly recommend this. You can read a preview of the book, or order it for 10 dollars through the author's website

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