Book Review by Tracy Robinson
S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland has garnered well deserved starred reviews, a mention from Stephen King, as well as innumerable shout-outs from readers and reviewers across genres. While this book is firmly within the crime genre, it encapsulates pieces of horror, literary fiction, and raw human experience. It is, quite simply, masterful.
“My daddy was like a thunderstorm in a world of gentle breezes. That’s the way he tore through life. That’s the way he raised me.” – S.A. Cosby; Blacktop Wasteland
Beauregard “Bug” Montague is not a perfect person. His intelligence, family loyalty, and drive are expertly juxtaposed with a short temper, questionable decisions, and more. This is not a guy someone might hold up as a superhero, but rather as one hell of a human being who will do anything to keep those he loves safe. Cosby provides the reader with background, gently pushing the idea that nature and nurture have equal impacts on who we later become in life. Bug’s father, the relationship between his parents, and his own personal experiences and reactions to life have indelibly shaped who he is.
Other characters are given the same attention throughout the book. Readers will CARE and it is this attention to detail, this open dialogue between author and reader, that causes the book to be so successful. Pair that with Cosby’s ability to write some of the best damn action scenes ever written, and this book completely hijacks the reader. We are emotionally and physically involved in needing to find out “what happens next.” If your heart doesn’t race or break after some of these scenes, you might want to get that checked out.
Simply, this book is fast-paced, fraught with emotion, and expertly written. On a deeper level, every reader is sure to have different takeaways depending on the lenses with which they view the world. While this may be true for all pieces of literature, it is unavoidable with this one. This is life, bled onto a page, and offered up for us to take from what we will. Personally, I will read whatever this author publishes from now on.