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By turns savagely funny and piercingly heart-rending, Right Away Monday is an extraordinary new novel from “the best young voice in years” (David Adams Richards)
“The top cant count for much if you havent punched a shift or two on bottom”
Clayton Reid is stuck in a vicious cycle. He spends just as much time scraping the bottom as he does being high as a kite and can’t seem to find middle ground. A hopelessly self-destructive and at times unforgivably brutal young man, Clayton is a sometimes bartender at the Awl and Hatchet with a bad attitude that elicits love and loathing in equal measure. Over the course of a write-off year, Clayton wrestles with the conflicting desires of wanting to matter to somebody and to care for no one, wanting to prove he’s different from the so-called wasters around him but not enough to say no to a pint. In the filthy bars, cold back alleys and soiled bedrooms of downtown St. John’s that Clayton inhabits, we spend a debauched year with him as he drinks and dreams, fights and fails, screws and screws up. He lives his life as an eternal weekend, sure he can stop any time and accomplish great things. But then Clayton meets Isadora, who stirs something real and achingly human underneath the swagger, sending him on the bender of his life.
Right Away Monday is a stormy novel of unlikely beauty, peopled by unforgettable characters—including one Valentine Reid, Clayton’s burnt-out and battered rocker uncle; the lovely though world-weary Monica; and the shrewd Mike Quinn, slum landlord and owner of the Awl and Hatchet. Unnervingly authentic, these are the constituents of a world grown weary and wasted, with a new generation stumbling blindly behind. But oblivion is only skin deep. Beneath the wreckage of youthful distraction lie the vast and abiding questions that haunt our quietest moments—questions of destiny, fate, mortality and of our connections to one another. Ushering the chaos and uncertainty of this dark bar-room universe into the bright intensity of Hynes’ unflinching gaze, Right Away Monday will grab you by the throat and not let you go.