Danny Bland's fictional novel about a doomed junkie couple is given depth by his firsthand experiences in the '90s grunge rock scene.
"It wasn't the pounding headache or the all-too-familiar taste of blood in my mouth that woke me that morning, but the stink of cat piss. They all have cats. Cats and bad tattoos and mops of dyed black hair that reek of cigarettes and watermelon Bubblicious."
This debut novel by veteran Seattle musician Danny Bland follows a pair of outsiders who find themselves locked in the palpable, dizzy grunge-rock scene of early '90s in Seattle.
Vulnerable to the high-relief of heroin addiction, Bland's characters - Charlie Hyatt and Carrie Finch - are unapologetic protagonists whose epiphanies are as blinding as their weaknesses. Finch - 21, beautiful, and dangerous - drowns out the voices in her head and the consequences of a misled life with electric guitars, booze, and petulant misbehavior. Her single abiding faith takes the form of an unlikely savior - '60s psychedelic musician Roky Erikson. At the ripe old age of 28, Hyatt attempts to make sense of the cards he has been dealt: a miserable job in a porn shop, a drug habit he cannot afford, and the wildly unstable woman he had chosen to love.
Two damaged people can balance a seesaw for a long time, even finding the illusion of safety; but when one gets off unannounced, the other will fall. As Finch finds sobriety, her sanity and her relationship with Hyatt falter until an inevitable event brings the two back together a decade later.
Additional narrators include Wayne Kramer, Eddie Spaghetti, Rob Delaney, Lou Beach, Jacob Pitts, Blag Dahlia, Tony Fitzpatrick, Mark Boone Jr., Lee Ving, Tom Hansen, John Sinclair, Dana Gould, Rachel Flotard, and Danny Bland.
©2013 Daniel Bland (P)2013 Daniel Bland
“Our anti-hero is floating in a tiny lifeboat made of heroin, graveyard shifts & rock music. His companions are two fabulous women; a bombshell who robs banks & a beautifully pale rock violinist who can barely dodge suicide. ICWD is much funnier & more satisfying than any other junkie rock’n'roll tragedy.” (John Doe, co-founder of the punk band, X)
“In Case We Die is beautiful and brutal. The prose are visceral, eloquent and moving. Addiction, love and music in the seedy underworld of rainy Seattle in the 1990′s … so vivid I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t back there again. Danny Bland is a modern Charles Bukowski.” (Mike McCready, lead guitarist and one of the founding members of Pearl Jam)
“A great piece of work — full of filth and heart.” (Steve Earle, Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter, record producer, author and actor)
Definitely in top 10! I reluctantly put the book down//stop listening in order to go to work, tempting to call in "sick" so I could finish it -- twice! The story lingers.
So many to choose from...seeing Carrie in the girls facility during the fire drill; the bank robbery; the unfortunate, but not surprising, betrayal; the visit to Carrie's home; the atonement.
The narrators emphasis on different words and timing was different than when I read the book. The narrator's voices, especially in the final chapters, conveyed the emotions which tie the story solidly together.
Again, too many: the story is a completely emotionally moving tale. Really loved his interpretation of "the Steps". Carrie's last letter to Hyatt.
Bland has written this book in such a way that if you have been where he describes, you completely relate with the thoughts, feelings, and actions; and if you haven't been there then reading the book makes it really up close and personal so that you may feel as if you had. Excellent debut, Mr. Bland. Looking forward to more. That's the whole deal: more.
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