Books: Arkansas and Citrus County
For fans of: Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, McSweeney’s
John Brandon’s poor characters always seem to be in over their heads. Through these normal people in situations quickly spiraling out of their control, Brandon take his stories to dark corners of our own backyards where morality exists solely in a gradient of gray.
Arkansas focuses on a group of floaters of both low and high stature in a drug distribution ring as they all search for some semblance of normality in a trail of oddities. Citrus County tells the tale of two teens, their school teacher, and a kidnapping that ends up bringing together unexpected people in a place where nothing good ever seems to happen.
Both books are gritty, quirky and hilarious, though sometimes a bit too impressed by their own cleverness. If you were to mix the dark Southern style of Cormac McCarthy with the modern cheekiness of McSweeney’s, I would imagine that the final result would be something akin to Brandon’s two novels.
Already read this? Try: The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Blindness by Jose Saramago, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk