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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Moderate wear on cover and edges. Minimal highlighting and/or other markings can be present. May be ex-library copy and may not include CD, Accessories and/or Dust Cover. Good readable copy.
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Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel Paperback – Oct 10 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Ill edition (Oct. 10 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068483846X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838465
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #112,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a very difficult book to put down or soon forget. I've read a lot of ugly things in my life but this book touches on a deeper level because of this young child's age and the horrors she endures daily in her truly "cruddy" life. If it weren't so darned sad when thought about it'd be almost funny. Wish this book had been around when I was 14 or so and my own life may not have looked quite so bleak to me after having read it. The author has a knack for digging into an adolescent's mind and really brings that painful period of time of young adulthood (those ugly years when one is 13 - 17) alive in a brilliantly, devastating way.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved Barry's recent "Freddie Stories," but many seemed to find it "disturbing." Belive me, that brilliant homage to thrown-away children was just the warm-up. "CRUDDY" is one of the most horrifying examinations of wrecked childhood ever written. At times, I read pages at a time without stopping to blink, mesmerized -- as always-- by Barry's unique voice and genius for dialogue. But by the end of the book, I was stopping at the end of each paragraph, gulping for oxygen, my finger on the speed-dial for 911. Standard thrillers don't faze me; they're just books. But "Cruddy" is not just a book, because Barry is not just a writer. Her gift for the deeply-real pulls me way too far into the horrors of the narrator's "cruddy" life. READ IT. It's "Rule of the Bone" plus "Man who Fell in Love with the Moon" multiplied by the film "Gummo", but more than all of them put together, because it is Lynda Barry. Do I sound like I hated it? I loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a Lynda Barry fan ever since I was a wee tot, so perhaps I am a bit biased in this review... While reading Cruddy, I had a difficult time grasping that the book was fictional,despite all of the far out charatures and events that take place. After finishing the book, I found my mind wandering back into the book's harsh and bittersweet world,which to many, living off the backroads in many a cruddy town scattered across this country, is not far from reality. Furthermore, Lynda Barry specializes in illuminating characters who would otherwise languish, misunderstood and unaccounted for, particularly children and adolescents of alcoholic, abusive and psychotic parents(often refugees from wrecked marriages who resentfully regard their offspring as merely a nuisance contributing to the eternal drudgery of their lives) All of the elements in this book do(in some form) exist, in a spectrum of reality that most would prefer to be sheltered from, and Lynda Barry weaves them into a wonderful, mesmerizing, strangely comical albiet macabre piece of fiction. I would furthermore encourage anyone to pursue other works by Lynda Barry, such as her long running comic series Ernie Pook. Barry is a one of a kind master of her craft, be it in comic strip or literature form.
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Format: Hardcover
I simply saw the cover of this book-the colors, the fact that the whole cover was done by Barry, the fact that it was an illustrated novel, the matte-finish cover-- in the bookstore and yanked it up to paw through. Phrases from the dustjacked jumped out, like "Easy Rider meets Natural Born Killers" and "bloodbath...1965...1971..." and "hotel massacre...desert...unforgettable..."then I saw the inside plates of carefully drawn maps of the journey Roberta, the heroine and her twisted father take, with a key indicating "X = dead bodies" and notations like "the place where the sherriff pulled the knife by the traintrack" and fell in love. I was down to my last 10 bucks and it wasa week till payday and I begged by husband to please buy the book for me, because I couldn't wait, I was hooked. My sweet spouse purchased it for me 2 days later and I read it all in one greedy gulp, stopping to savor her poetic dialogue, the frightening images both illustrated in her drawings and prose. You think how you know the book will end when you read the first pages. But when you get to the end, a wonderful surprise awaits you. A word of advice--don't look at the last 2 pages and cheat, wait until you get there, and cover up the last hand-written paragraph till the very end. YOu will get a very big smile on your face. Not to say that there are not parts in this brilliant novel that will break your heart, but that's part of the beauty of "Cruddy". Oh, and no matter how bad you think you have it, after reading the gut-wrenching, hauntingly realistic experiences the narrator goes through, your life will seem like Gwyneth Paltrow's in comparison. I only subtracted a star because the book was over too fast.
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Format: Paperback
"Cruddy" is among the mightiest stories ever told, I kid you not. For laughing-and-crying-and-changing-your-outlook-of-humanity, it's right up there with "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Lord of the Flies".
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.
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