Hello! Today’s post is a stop on the Blog Tour for Dan Dalton’s Johnny Ruin, publishing in paperback tomorrow (22nd August) from Unbound.
Firstly, a bit of blurb:
Depression can be hell.
Heartbroken and lonely, the narrator has made an attempt on his own life. Whether he meant to or not he can’t say. But now he’s stuck in his own head, and time is running out.
To save himself, he embarks on a journey across an imagined America, one haunted by his doomed relationship and the memory of a road trip that ended in tragedy.
Help arrives in the guise of Jon Bon Jovi, rock star and childhood hero. An unlikely spirit guide, perhaps, but he’s going to give it a shot…
Now I do want to start by saying how much I enjoy this cover – suits the story well with the contrast between the strong sans-serif title and hand-drawn heart motif overlapping and feeling a little disjointed (in a good way) just like the story itself.
This book feels a little nostalgic, a nod to 80’s road trips through the USA (helped of course by his sidekick throughout the saga being Jon Bon Jovi). It feels like true escapism, the narrator trying to run from his past, his feelings, his regrets, trying to get closer to an ex-girlfriend who no longer loves him.
It’s written in quite a ‘stream of consciousness’ kind of style, very choppy and interspersed with ‘sample tweets’ and billboard notices. Like someone trying to remember a lot of stuff all at once and it comes back in bits and pieces. On his memories, our narrator says, “it’s like a diary entry someone else wrote for me” which I think is a very interesting way of putting it.
I really enjoyed this book, it’s quite a quick read, it’s quite strange and it’s quite different from the stuff you’d find on the bestseller lists which is always refreshing.
Big thanks to Anne over at Random Things Tours for arranging this tour – I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be recommending it to anyone who fancies something a bit different, a bit weird (and any fans of Bon Jovi, of course).
I’d definitely say if you enjoyed Richard Gwyn’s The Blue Tent, you’d enjoy this (and vice versa).
Over and out,