Reading this book was like riding a bucking bronco through hell with a fallen angel as your guide. It's a heartbreaking revelation about just how much a misogynistic, narcissistic, violent father, and a weak-willed mother can re-program and invert a little boy, in this case Jude, who starts out in life as an inherently gentle, romantic little boy that just wants to believe in magical worlds and happy endings. The domestic violence he experiences transforms him into a hyena, a whip-smart, laughing, drugged-out, wild dog that roams the city streets looking for scraps to ingest, and someone to fuck, under the influence to escape the misery that swirls around him. His forceful sense of humor is the last guard standing in defense of his humanity, it protects him from crossing over into a completely dark, dangerous reflection of his father. He is still trying to protect the lost boy he was from losing the innocent wonder every human deserves and needs to feel truly alive and at peace in life on Earth.
Comparisons to Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson are right on. Angelini also has a Twain-style faithfulness to capturing the true sound of the street. Beautiful sentences erupt out of nowhere showing Angelini’s command of truly graceful writing. All his choices for how he communicates his incredible stories are deliberate and deeply effective. This is a very interesting writer. Very excited to see how his writing will evolve as more people discover him. It’s time for a hip-hop literary renaissance and I think this man may be the herald.