Book Review: The Summer of Crud, Jonathan LaPoma

The Summer Of Crud36443941

By:   Jonathan LaPoma

Length: 134 pages

Rating: ☆☆

Published: February 20th 2018


The summer after graduating from college, 22-year-old Danny Wolinski takes a cross-country US road trip with his friend, Ian Perez, hoping to find the inspiration to reach his songwriting potential, start a band, and avoid student teaching in the fall.

Danny is tormented by intense physical and psychological pain and sees music as his only relief, but the more he searches for this inspiration in an America filled with endless parties, heavy drugs, and lost souls, the more he questions whether it exists.

A deeply disturbing and psychological coming-of-age novel, THE SUMMER OF CRUD explores the complexities of friendships, masculinity, sex, mental illness, and addiction, and shows how the quest to unlock one’s creativity can both inspire and destroy a person.

*THE SUMMER OF CRUD is the first book in a loosely linked trilogy with UNDERSTANDING THE ALACRÁN as book two, and DEVELOPING MINDS: AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY as book three.



I pick this book up off of NetGalley read now section, These are the books you don’t have to wait to hear back from the publisher on. I already have enough I’m waiting to hear back on but also wanted to have a read now. I browsed and the cover was what jumped out me. The total artistic vibe so matches the inner workings of this book. As I read the synopsis I was drawn more into reading the piece. Very rarely do I come across books that solely focus on a male lead, with the exception of books following an already release female POV. So I was intrigued. The cover. The synopsis. All pointed to being and an exciting rollercoaster of a ride with Danny and Ian on a cross-country trip. Unfortunately for me, that’s where it stops.

I found Danny to be way too chaotic and damaged. I really don’t recall any good point being made about him except that he is a teacher. Ian was no better though, he was loud, crude, obnoxious and mindless. While the development of the characters was barely there with the exception of Danny, backstories were minimal.

Essentially this book came down to being just about smoking, drinking and a guy who has some serious bathroom issues. Yes. Bathroom issue. It wasn’t often that I came to a scene that held substance, but there were a few thrown in there.

But I will say this, I believe if I was a freshman male in college I would probably find this book to be comical, likable and relatable. I’m not, I’m so far from that spectrum so I do believe that is why I just found the book to be okay.

What I did enjoy was the musical soundtrack you get to take with these guys. LaPoma often through in some great tunes that the guys traveled to or partied with. In fact, I think every spot they stopped along the way has a song or two to go along with it. Most I knew others I’ve just discovered.

Would I read this again? No. Would I read again by Jonathan LaPoma? Yes, I probably would.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Summer of Crud, Jonathan LaPoma

Add yours

  1. This sounds pretty deep and like I would enjoy it! Sorry to hear you didnt think too much of it and wouldnt read again.


    1. Some parts really did catch my attention but overall the book just didn’t sit with me. If you read it I hope that you enjoy it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: