Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel Paperback – Oct 10 2000
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Alanna Nash The New York Times A work of terrible beauty.
Entertainment Weekly One of the top ten best books of the year.
Andrew Horton The Wall Street Journal Ms. Barry has an ear for the casual cruelties of teenage conversation, for the way in which the most banal exchange can be fraught with hidden meanings and undercurrents of emotion. A dark little gem.
The New Yorker Cruddy's horror-bright narrative and over-the-top mayhem comedy nearly blind you to its plain, heartbreaking realism....An unforgettable, seamlessly imagined voice.
Booklist A work of daredevil literary wizardry.
From the Back Cover
On a September night in 1971, a few days after getting busted for dropping acid, a sixteen-year-old curls up in the corner of her ratty bedroom and begins to write.
Now the truth can finally be revealed about the mysterious day long ago when the authorities found a child, calmly walking in the boiling desert, covered with blood.
The girl is Roberta Rohbeson, and her rant against a world bounded by "the cruddy top bedroom of a cruddy rental house on a very cruddy mud road" soon becomes a detailed account of another story, one that she has kept silent since she was eleven.
Darkly funny and resonant with humanity, Cruddy masterfully intertwines Roberta's stories -- part Easy Rider and part bipolar Wizard of Oz. These stories, the backbone of Roberta's short life, include a one-way trip across America fueled by revenge and greed and a vivid cast of characters, starring Roberta's dangerous father, the owners of the Knocking Hammer Bar -- cum-slaughterhouse, and runaway adolescents. With a teenager's eye for freakish detail and a nervous ability to make the most horrible scenes seem hilarious, Cruddy is a stunning achievement.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The cruelties continue to the very last page. Somehow I wasn't left feeling depressed but actually relieved at the eventual outcome. I can't say it was an altogether enjoyable reading experience, although I did laugh out loud a few times, but I sure couldn't stop turning the pages. The illustrations completely capture the feel of the book. Recommended to the strong of stomach.
It sucks you through the everyday squalor and horrors of childhood, and weaves in a cracking good killing-spree-road-trip story in the same breath without changing tone. There's sombreness and hilarity told in the same flawless voice, even when drunk or drug-addled, and there's heart-wrenchingness along with the gut-wrenchingness. We get Saggy Underwear Man and "the cheapest chintziest most pig-lipped tightwad skanked-out lardo king landlord of all time", and we also get Roberta wondering why she still loves The Father after all the abuse and murders and death-threats.
But I think above all "Cruddy" is an adventure story, and the world definitely needs more Girl Road Trip stories like this (this makes On The Road look like church-school). Every time I read it, I don't want it to be finished, because the world looks that much more different every time the story's over.
Most recent customer reviews
This book had a very original storyline.The voice of the main character was absolutely unique. In fact the entire book was unique. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2013 by Sheri Amazon Customer
I had heard the author Lynda Barry in an interview on cbc radio and was inspired to order this book. It was one of the best books i have read in a long time. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2009 by kerry thorne
This is my new favorite book. Lynda Barry is an incredible writer. I could not put this book down. Amazing story. Amazing character development. Read morePublished on July 12 2004
...I'm sorry, I don't love this one. Far from it. I guess the writing was fairly good, but I was left cold, empty, and upset by it. Read morePublished on Nov. 25 2003
I read Lynda Barry's Cruddy ... and it was one of the best (if not the best) books I've ever read. It told a story about a teenaged girl who looks back on the tradgedies of her... Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2003 by Rachel
The writing in this book is fantastic. This author's approach is far from most; the protagonist sees the ugly instead of the beauty in everything (hence the title). Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2003 by mc-darcy
I really enjoyed this book. I think people have a habit of idealizing childhood once they grow up, and forgetting how confusing, painful and even horrible it can be, especially... Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003 by Douglas King
Although I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I do not believe it is possible to hate Cruddy as much as the disatisfied reader from Dayton, Ohio. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2003
I'm a fan, but not a huge fan, of Lynda Barry's cartoons. But I LOVE this book. It's so cruddy!
If you know why that's good, you'll probably love it, too.