Rotters by Daniel Kraus

This audiobook was really hard to listen to.  I don’t mean that the narrator had a difficult-to-understand accent or that the story was too fragmented to work well as an audiobook…  I mean that the story was often both disturbing and disgusting. Still, I was intrigued enough by the unusual premise that I had to keep going to find out how things ended.

Joey Crouch spent his whole life in Chicago, raised by a single mom who never spoke of his father.  Still, Joey managed to be reasonably happy.  As a straight A student who played the trumpet in his school jazz band, he had a fair amount going for him.  But then his mother died in a horrible accident, and he was shipped off to live with his father in rural Iowa — in a house shack with no phone, no TV, and no computer.  His would father leave, for days or weeks at a time, without even stocking the cupboards with food.  And because he had no food, no money, and no way to bathe, Joey quickly became “that kid” who everyone made fun of and even got into trouble with one of his teachers when he was caught trying to steal money to buy food.  Frustrated with his new life and curious about what would take his father away all the time, Joey decided to follow him — and discovered that his dad was actually a grave robber.  More shocking than that revelation, though, was when Joey decided he would like to follow in his father’s footsteps…

Happy Banned Books Week!


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