When our reviewer Rough Justice says ‘believe the hype’ about SA Cosby’s rural noir novel, Blacktop Wasteland, he isn’t kidding. His review sketches the fast-paced plot and the significant threats and difficulties the characters face. Suffice it to say that Cosby has achieved that literary ideal – to create the universal by focusing on the specific. The types of challenges faced by Beauregard ‘Bug’ Montage are faced by many sons, by many hard-working people of limited means, by many who believe they cannot escape their past.
If you like audiobooks, this is definitely one for your must-listen list. Actor Adam Lazarre-White is pitch-perfect, not only when it comes to the Black family at the centre of the narrative – Bug, his wife Kia, and cousin Kelvin –but also in portraying the white trash grifters and petty criminals determined to snare Bug in their dubious, dangerous schemes.
Cosby has written his dialog with a precise ear for the rhythms and patterns of speech of his native southern Virginia (the pleading “Just hear me out, Bug” from someone he should never listen to). Combined with Lazarre-White’s talents, Cosby’s characters come to life unforgettably. Good and bad, black and white, brave and snivelling. They are real people.
CFL Rating: 5 Stars