First off the narration by Kerry Woodrow, pretty good although at times he went really slowly which I felt didn't add anything to the drama playing out but it was something I could easily forgive as soon as I heard the voice of Eddy.
The story is told through the eyes of Trey but it was Eddy that captivated me in a way I’ll not forget, with a brash ‘say what you think’ attitude, an attitude that most people wish they could carry off but are usually restrained by circumstance.
I’ve read some of the most renowned ‘coming of age’ stories around this year and really enjoyed them, then I read or listened to Bay’s End by Edward Lorn and have to say it just blew them out of the water. Left them in a trail of dust. Whether you want to call Bay’s End a ‘coming of age’ story, a tragedy of childhood, a teenage drama with more than a bit of bite or just a fucking amazing story, that’s up to you, I’ll settle with the last one and I’d go as far as too say it’s one of the best reads (listens) I’ve had in a long while.
This story certainly put my emotions through a roller coaster of a ride, for the majority I was laughing, mainly at the dialogue but there was one portion when I was out walking the dog, in the final third of the story that I was laughing at the Porn movie incident, breath taken and then almost filling up with what happened to Candy. Don’t know what anyone who saw me thought but I don’t care, I enjoyed it that much.
To the dialogue, a lot based on the authors memories as a kid, it was something I could easily relate to and could imagine actually being part of the conversations and I can’t say that about any book I’ve read in the past.
For example Trey asks Eddy.
“Is your Dad a teacher”?
“Who that fat fuck” is the reply and the stories full of that kind of humour, laying pipe etc. Loved it.
It is not however all humour, there’s a couple of particularly harrowing backdrops to this story and it’s masterfully told with a powerful conclusion.
The story, well its kids antics as usual until they come up against Officer Mack and see the ugly side of the law, 4 cherry bombs and a missing girl later, with our protagonists the last to see her alive and the story just rockets along, one of those you can’t stop reading/listening to, you need to know how it ends.
Just read that this is Ed’s debut novel, makes it even more special and this easily compares with Cruelty as my favourite with barely a gnat’s c**k between them, ‘Pardon my French’.
My highest recommendation and the easiest 5 stars I've ever given