Author John Calvin Hughes jumps the reader straight into a story of troubled brothers and troubled lives in his novel Killing Rush. Strong language perfectly fits the strong lead character, redneck to the core, dragged out of his strangely uncaring life into a cross-country quest to “save” an apparently weak and ailing brother. But no one is quite who they seem in this scarily honest depiction of insanity, love and loss. Dark humor, slapstick comedy, tragic uncertainty and vividly plausible religious and political musings all intertwine as reality twists, losers win, and those who would be saved might damn them all.
By turns mystical and down-to-earth, both lyrical and harsh, the author’s perfect sense for detail creates pictures drawn with strong clear concepts and a minimum of words. Convincing dialog makes even deep and complex religious debate as fascinating as conversation around drugs, drink, literature, and music. Meanwhile, equal strength passion, pathos and humor drive an oddly plausible, humorously reprehensible “mission from God.”
Killing Rush is one of those books that defy genre and draw the reader into a real world, totally convincingly portrayed, evocative, filled with unexpected wit and emotion, and manifesting different kinds of grief through human joy. I don’t know if it’s “more fun to be stoned while we discuss philosophy” or theology, but I do know this book brings to life a wealth of experiences and arguments, and leaves me missing the characters when the final page is turned.
Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
(reviewed 77 days after purchase)