SLOW BURN ON RIVERSIDE – BY CHAD LUTZKE
Published by Static Age / Available March 2021
Verdict: 3 out of 5
Overview: “When 18-year-old Jex moves into a new apartment, his roommate’s descent into drugs paves the way for mental illness, while Jex deals with their sexually assertive landlady. But when her teenage son shows up, things take a very dark turn.” – supplied via the title’s Goodreads listing
The Good: I felt like Lutzke’s narrative was real, that Chad was telling us a story that was actually about him when he was young. This made the absurd and dangerous moments even better.
The Bad: Though I liked the narrative, it relied too much on “tell” and not enough “show.” I would have liked the story to have been taken out of the first person and detailed account by account. Had it been, Slow Burn on Riverside would have easily been a novel instead of a novella. The paranoia and struggle would have also had more of an impact in the long run.
The Takeaway: Slow Burn on Riverside definitely feels like a Lutzke daydream, but lacks suspense and finesse. Had the narrative been done differently, this novella could have been a contender in the author’s library.
File Under: Ghosts … Drugs … Mental Illness … Drama
Also See: The Same Deep Water as You … Of Foster and Flies … The Pale White … The Neon Owl
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