"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Fridays: Cruisers by Craig Nova

Cruisers (2004)
Craig Nova

Russell Boyd and Frank Kohler are haunted men. Boyd is a Vermont state trooper who patrols the highways by night, where he wrestles with literal and figurative darkness while trying to come to grips with events from his childhood. Kohler is a computer repairman living in the home of his murdered mother. Their lives, unconnected at first, converge to a point that is violent and inevitable.

Nova is a writer’s writer, which means he produces amazing work in relative (and unjust) obscurity. The structure of Cruisers is a work of art in itself. Then there are the haunting and haunted characters that move through the starkly distilled rural setting. Cruisers works as both a “literary” novel and a country noir. If you’re a fan of Wolven, Woodrell or Gay, you’ll find a lot to like here.

I have to give a shout-out to Brad Barkley and David Anthony Durham, both of whom recommended this book when I attended their workshops at Stonecoast. David took it a step further when he became my mentor and made me read Cruisers. I’m glad he did because I might have missed it otherwise.


pattinase (abbott) said...

This sounds fabulous. I will definitely look for it. Just the kind of story I love most.

Anonymous said...


I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the note about Cruisers, or I want to thank you for two things, enjoying the book and taking the time to saying something about it. So, double thanks.

Of course, this was a hard book to write, but then what book isn’t? I’ve been looking at it a little bit recently since a screen writer and a young guy in LA are trying to make a movie out of it, and the screen writer and I have been meeting.

Well, I wanted to say thanks.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Craig: My pleasure. It’s a hell of a book. Here’s hoping things work out with the Hollywood types.