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The Wanton Troopers, Alden Nowlan (Gooselane)
Posthumously published novel of childhood dreams and grown-up realities
Get past the overuse of flowery adjectives and moments where the plot skips ahead with no signal to the reader and Nowlan’s posthumously published The Wanton Troopers is a worthwhile read. Released for the first time with the final page of the original manuscript (plus interviews and a readers’ guide with an afterword by David Adams Richards), this is the tale of Kevin O’Brien, a young boy caught between the alcoholism of his abusive father, the pain and disillusionment of his mother, who was forced to grow up too soon, and a crotchety grandmother who sees the world around her as hell-bent. In the midst of this world, Kevin is on the journey from being a boy who lives half his life in a dream-world to becoming a confused but determined young man. Full of richly depicted, believable characters and moments of beauty.