I just finished reading Perfect Circle by Sean Stewart. It is a fiction book that follows the life of Will “Dead” Kennedy, or “DK” as his family used to call him. He’s an aging punk rocker who can’t get his life in order. Twelve years ago, his pregnant wife left him and he has been floating from one crappy job to another. Oh, and he can see ghosts.
It’s not a great thing for him. He can’t even drive because he confuses ghosts for people walking in the street. He wrecked enough cars dodging ghosts to swear off driving. He rides the bus to pick up his daughter for visitation and gets canned from yet another job. He is moping until he gets a call from a cousin begging him to get rid of the ghost from his garage. His cousin offers him $1000 in cash and he takes the offer.
That day, he learns the bare truth, “Sometimes a guy is haunted for a really good reason.”
I loved this book for all its little details. It’s set in Texas and I feel like a local now. I feel like I could walk into any Texas town and feel right at home. Even better, Will and his family are white trash. Not middle income or bourgeois, WHITE TRASH. I never get to see heros and their families who are dirt poor and trapped. His sisters are unwed mothers. His father went from jobs and get-rich-quick schemes to being unemployed and not rich. His Uncle Billy died in a refinery accident. His cousin AJ was killed by her biker boyfriend. I love his family and their dead-end dreams.
With the opressive heat of Texas, the poverty, the divorce he never got over, and all those dead people walking around, you would think that this book might be a little depressing. It could have been. Will goes to some pretty dark places. Places that are familiar and ugly to an aging punk rocker like me. I saw a glimpse of how my life could have been had I taken two steps to the South.
Check out all the quotations I got from this great book on the Quotations Weblog: