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Crown (April 2016) 304 pages
Bill Beverly’s DODGERS has won both the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and the Goldsboro Gold Dagger at the Crime Writers’ Association Awards, (for both best crime novel and best debut crime novel).
Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger.
It is the story of a young LA gang member named East,
who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys, including East's hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness, hiding out.
The journey takes East out of a city he's never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world, and decide what kind of man he wants to become.
Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, Dodgers heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.
US reviews, following Crown's publication, are below:
“A dazzling crime novel that’s equal parts coming-of-age tale à la Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and travelogue à la Kerouac...
Readers won’t soon forget East and his bloody journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, salvation.”- Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)
“Although Beverly evokes the great outdoors with photographic clarity, claustrophobia effectively haunts his narrative… With his focus on people and personalities, the author could justifiably bypass the bigger picture, the heartland rusting to death in the background. But, admirably, he doesn’t.” – The New York Times
“Vastly impressive…draws lyric prose out of the unlikeliest of materials.” – The Wall Street Journal
“With characterizations recalling the best of George Pelecanos… Fans of HBO’s The Wire and Richard Price novels will be engaged by the book’s themes of race, identity, and the U.S. class system.” – Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Will be one of the most talked-about debut novels of the year. Think Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising or Dennis Lehane’s A Drink Before the War—it’s that good. …This unpretentious literary crime novel will upend your notions of the sort of character with whom you might empathize.” – Bookpage (Top Pick)
“The premise and execution are terrific, and the prose is remarkable: Beverly does more with a sentence than many writers accomplish in a paragraph. East and his compatriots are old before their time, and yet we never lose the sense that they are still growing up, even if their growing-up is like that of soldiers dropped behind enemy lines in their first war… Highly recommended for fans of Richard Price, this is a searing novel about crime, race, and coming-of-age, with characters who live, breathe, and bleed.” – Booklist (Starred Review)
"The tension stays high and reflective moments serve only to give the characters — and the reader — a breather before the next, more exciting set piece, of which there are many. Great ending, too." – Esquire
"Dark, edgy and riveting and, for all that, deeply, humanly serious." – Robert Olen Butler , Pulitzer Prize winning author
"Reading Dodgers is like having the veil lifted from your eyes: the world is more vivid, more intense, more exquisite, and more terrifying than you ever knew.
Bill Beverly is a conjurer, a poet of the dark arts, and his novel is a spell: when he sends his young drug-world protagonist on a deadly errand in the alien landscape east of L.A, it is you who makes the journey, who is the stranger in a strange land, a watcher who now feels the eyes of others wherever you go. Hypnotic, breath-taking, bruising, beautiful, important, true—choose your adjectives, this is a great novel." – CrimeScene
“Dodgers is a wickedly good amalgamation of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Clockers that stands firmly on its own as a remarkable debut. A Harrowing road trip into the heart of America that will shock you, move you, and
leave you marvelling at its desolate poetry.” – Richard Lange
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