Today I’m stupid-excited about the book I’m about to review for you. It’s by an INSANELY talented writer who is a dear friend and a former high school classmate. For nearly a year, I’ve been sitting on pins and needles, waiting for this release day and a chance to read this book, and I finally got the opportunity this weekend. The book? WHERE THE DEAD SIT TALKING by Brandon Hobson.
First let me say that this is not my normal reading genre. I usually move more toward commercial fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult. WHERE THE DEAD SIT TALKING is vastly different and falls into the category of literary fiction which, to be honest, is frequently too “deep” for me. And yes…Hobson’s writing is deep, but it’s also very compelling and I found the pages turning seemingly on their own.
WHERE THE DEAD SIT TALKING tells the story of 15 year-old Sequoyah, a teen of Cherokee descent, who finds himself floating through the foster care system until he is placed in the home of Harold and Agnes Troutt. His housemates are a troubled 17 year old Rosemary, a girl who evokes in him confusing emotions, and a younger and very eccentric boy named George.
Everyone in the home seems to have their own secrets and quirks. Agnes is a devout Christian, but her husband, George, is a racehorse bookie who hides his winnings below the floorboards of the shed out back. Rosemary has attempted suicide on a couple of occasions, and George has weird quirks like sleepwalking and a deep-seated fear of the woods behind their home. And Sequoyah is just…different. He’s dark with twisted thoughts and, to be honest, a little bit scary. And, as strange as this sounds, Sequoyah’s twisted internal monologue is what made this book so compelling for me.
If there is truly such a thing as a “master of words,” then Brandon Hobson is one. His writing is descriptive without being over-the-top, and he has a way of giving the reader just enough information to make them keep reading without leaving them frustrated at what he hasn’t yet revealed. The writing was so compelling that I rolled through it in a day and a half, and I would’ve read it faster if I didn’t have a family that required regular meals and clean dishes. Even when I stepped away to deal with my real life, I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters.
So to my friend, Brandon Hobson, as my dad would say, “You do good work, kid!” I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to recommend it to others whose reading tastes run toward literary fiction.
To readers, I would say this: keep an eye on this name — Brandon Hobson. I’ve said it before when I read his previous book, DEEP ELLUM, but I’ll say it again: Hobson is an author who could very well be one of the best at his craft among this generation of literary fiction writers. Remember the name.