Review – Babcock

Today I’m reviewing Babcock by Joe Cottonwood. I don’t read/listen to a lot of straight up fiction, but the review at View From Valhalla convinced me to give it a whirl.

Synopsis:A fat boy with the blues. A skinny girl who runs marathons. And a con man on the lam. If you liked Clear Heart, or if you liked Boone Barnaby, you’ll like this one, too. The themes are a bit more grown up than Boone Barnaby, but it’s still family-friendly for reading. For any age it’s my brand of writing: humane, down to earth, good-natured, sometimes funny and sometimes sad.

In short, it’s about character. About making music. About family, hard work, about love and loss. Sometimes there’s laughter. Sometimes the lights are off in the kitchen; papa’s got blues. But always life is rich and deeply moving…

Babcock is part of the San Puerco trilogy, which makes it a companion book to Boone Barnaby: same characters (plus a few new ones) and more adventures in the scrappy little town of San Puerco. The book won awards as a novel for children, but it has many adult fans, too. Most of the issues appeal to an adult perspective as well as a child’s, though with different understanding. Other issues, of course, only a young person can understand. That’s life. That’s rock and roll.

Production: Excellent audio quality. A great use of music that was apparently composed just for the book.

Grade: A

Cast: Solid voice acting on the part of all involved. Joe does a few of the voices himself as well as the narration.

Grade: B

Story: Like I said up front, this isn’t usually my literary cuppa tea. Still I’m glad I took the leap. It’s well crafted, touching, engaging, and hits every note.

Grade: A

Verdict: I will definitely be seeking out the rest of his works. I’ll probably even get my twelve year old to listen. There are one or two instances of strong words, but given the circumstances in the story I don’t have a problem with that.

Grade: A

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