Monday, July 27, 2009
THE WAY HOME by George Pelecanos (2009)
This thriller was on the "Best bets" shelf of my local library. I haven't read any of his other titles, but Pelecanos certainly writes convincingly from an insider's point-of-view. (His bio notes that he write for HBO's THE WIRE as his day job).
Chris Flynn is a sixteen-year-old with an attitude. Ironically, in an adolescent rush to avoid the law, he ends up incarcerated in a juvenile facility, the only white boy first offender among many coloured faces accustomed to spending time on the inside.
What is interesting about this book is not the relationships that Chris builds in prison or the loyalty he feels towards his fellow inmates, but rather the growing rapport with his father which for most of his life has been tense to say the least.
There are several graphic scenes that I would have closed my eyes for in the film adaptation--examples of man's inhumanity to man that are at once predictable and unforgivable.
With enough plot twists to keep you flipping the pages through to the end and a superb ear for the rhythm of the spoken word, THE WAY HOME is definitely worth a rainy afternoon.